DALLAS, Jan. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- An Extension Cotton Specialist at the forefront of disease management and water efficiency issues for California growers was named the 2017 Cotton Specialist of the Year during the annual awards dinner at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas, Texas.
Robert Hutmacher, PhD, is the center director for the University of California West Side Research and Education Center. But that's just the title of Hutmacher's story.
"Extension Cotton Specialists are the backbone of our industry, providing leadership in our industry and the collaboration our growers need," says Kenny Melton, PhD., Bayer Western Regional Agronomic Manager. "This role is the perfect marriage of science – the research and technology that drives our industry, and art – the management finesse that brings home the crop each season. Dr. Robert Hutmacher is a master of defining a grower challenge, rallying all parties to come to the table to address the challenge and then working with growers to put that science to work in their fields. Whether the challenge is finding resistance to Fusarium wilt Race 4 or increasing water efficiency, Dr. Hutmacher rises to the challenge. It's an honor to work with him and a special joy to help bestow this award."
Cotton specialist in the 17 states where cotton is grown vote each year on who among them will be chosen for the prestigious award. The recipient's peers evaluate and select a winner based on a number of considerations, including exceptional leadership and outstanding industry service. The annual award and banquet became a featured event at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences in 1984. Bayer started sponsoring the award in 2008.
The 2016 recipient of this high honor - Gaylon Morgan, PhD, Extension Cotton Specialist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, presented the 2017 award to Hutmacher.
"Bob is a highly respected leader who California growers depend on to navigate the ups and downs of the cotton industry in their state," Morgan says. "He has helped growers find the path to profitability. That kind of leadership is essential not only in California, but also nationally. He has earned this honor many times over. I am very pleased that Bob will be receiving the award. Bob is well deserving and has been for a long while."
Hutmacher earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy at the University of California-Davis, a master of science degree in soil physics from Texas A&M University and a doctorate in crop physiology from Texas Tech University.
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