Alfa Award Honors Mullenix For Beef Systems Research
As a fifth-generation farmer, Dr. Kim Mullenix knows the value of on-farm efficiency. That farmer-focused mindset fuels her work as Alabama Extension’s beef systems specialist — and scored Mullenix the Alfa Award For Production Agriculture & Forestry Research.
Mullenix received the inaugural award, which includes $10,000 in program support, during the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Commodity Producers Conference in Chattanooga Aug. 1. She was nominated by Chambers County cattle farmer Jack Robertson.
“It’s exciting to receive this award because it comes from producers,” said Mullenix, 33. “They value the work we do. It’s practical, applied research that can help them every day on their farm.”
The Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation sponsored the prize, which honors Auburn University (AU) College of Agriculture, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences and Alabama Cooperative Extension System staff addressing problems relevant to Alabama agriculture and forestry.
Mullenix takes a boots-on-the-ground approach to her work, estimating she spends three days a week on producers’ farms or at Alabama Agricultural Experiment Stations. Her task is two-fold — improve forage management and expand nutritional efficiency in beef cattle systems.
“We’re helping beef cattle better utilize the resources we grow and produce in Alabama,” said Mullenix, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at AU before studying forage management at the University of Florida. “The goal is to improve farmer profitability by improving animal efficiency.”
Mullenix joined Alabama Extension five years ago after receiving her doctorate. As an Extension specialist, she provides farmers with the computer programs, ration formulas and nutrition information their beef cattle operations need to succeed. That’s one reason Robertson, Chambers County Farmers Federation president, nominated her for the award.
“When Kim joined Extension, she had big shoes to fill. She came in and did just that,” said Robertson, a partner in Robertson, Lanier & McKay Cattle Co. in Cusseta. “She proved herself with her knowledge and abilities. She gives us tools to work with to make our farm better. Kim always has the right answer.”
Mullenix and Daniel, her husband of eight years, are actively involved on her family’s farm in Newnan, Georgia. They also own cattle in Auburn and participate in Lee County Young Farmers.
Mullenix and Daniel, an Agri-AFC precision ag specialist, have a 3-year-old son, Davis.