News Auburn Ag Alumni Group Honors Five Leaders

Auburn Ag Alumni Group Honors Five Leaders

Auburn Ag Alumni Group Honors Five Leaders
March 20, 2020 |

Auburn University’s College of Agriculture and Agricultural Alumni Association recognized five Alabamians for significant contributions during the Alabama Agriculture Hall of Honor banquet Feb. 6.

Tommy J. Brown of Clanton, Val Ivey of Birmingham and W. Gaines Smith of Auburn were inducted into the Hall of Honor, while the late Ralph Lovelady of Randolph and the late Richard Dale True of Greenville each received the Pioneer Award.

Brown, inductee in the production sector, spent 32 years with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) serving Dale and Chilton counties and the Black Belt. After Extension, he was as genetic and marketing director.

Agribusiness inductee Ivey had a successful 46-year career as an agricultural chemical company sales representative and manager. His passion was rooted in helping growers protect their crops and livelihoods.

Smith, representing the education/government sector, retired as ACES executive director in 2011 after serving for three years as interim director and 10 years as director. During his 45-year career, he garnered experience at the county, district and state levels.

Lovelady was a pioneer in Alabama cattle production. Through close attention to genetics and forage production, plus meticulous records, he developed one of the state’s top commercial herds in Chilton County.

True was a innovator in the catfish industry, partnering with  C.O. Stephens and Bryant Allen to start the country’s first commercial catfish hatchery, STRAL Co., in 1961. Formerly in charge of dairy and cotton operations, catfish later became his full-time career.

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