The Alabama Farmers Federation honored two Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System professionals for work tangibly affecting farmers and agriculture with inaugural Alfa Awards, presented before hundreds of growers at the Commodity Producers Conference in Chattanooga Aug. 1.
Dr. Kim Mullenix received the Alfa Award For Production Agriculture & Forestry Research, while Dr. Ayanava Majumdar earned the Alfa Award For Production Agriculture & Forestry Extension. They netted $10,000 and $5,000 in program support, respectively.
Mullenix is an associate professor and extension specialist in Auburn's Department of Animal Sciences, while Majumdar is extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology.
“Dr. Mullenix and Dr. Majumdar have made a difference for Alabama farmers,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “We’re excited to recognize their research and Extension efforts, which have addressed problems relevant to the state’s $70 billion agriculture industry.”
The Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation sponsored the prizes, created to honor Auburn College of Agriculture, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and extension staff.
Mullenix is extension’s beef systems specialist, where she works to improve forage management and expand nutritional efficiency in beef cattle systems. She was nominated by Chambers County Farmers Federation President Jack Robertson.
“It’s exciting to receive this award because it comes from producers,” said Mullenix, who joined extension five years ago. “They value the work we’re doing. It’s practical, applied research that can help them every day on their farm.”
Majumdar, an entomologist, is team leader for Commercial Horticulture Extension Programs. Most recently, Majumdar organized the Alabama Beginning Farmer Program — a statewide effort to support new farmers with emphasis on military veterans and underserved communities.
He was nominated by Alabama Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (AFVGA) President Taylor Hatchett of Chilton County.
“I’m so proud of the team we have at extension and the work we are doing together to support the industry,” said Majumdar, a 10-year extension veteran who serves as principal academic adviser to AFVGA’s board of directors. “I hope the momentum continues.”