November 2, 2016 | By: Katie Pratt
Lexington, Ky.

During its recent awards ceremony, the University of Kentucky chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta honored stakeholders, faculty and students in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Awards and recipients from the honor society are:

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Thomas Poe Cooper Distinguished Farm Leadership Award: The late Russell Hackley. The Grayson County farmer ran one of the leading grazing programs in the country, receiving numerous awards and speaking to various groups about his operation. For more than four decades, Hackley conducted tall fescue research and demonstration projects with UK. He was also a member of and leader in numerous organizations related to grazing, forages and cattle production.

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Thomas Poe Cooper Distinguished Research Award: Kyle McLeod. McLeod, an associate professor in the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences, received the award for his contributions to ruminant nutrition. An internationally recognized expert in this field, McLeod’s research focuses on understanding the regulation of ruminant metabolic processes as they relate to tissue growth in growing animals.

George E. Mitchell Jr. Award for Outstanding Faculty Service to Graduate Students: James Matthews. In the past 18 years, Matthews, an animal nutrition professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, has served on 32 graduate student committees, been a major professor to 10 graduate students, served on the advisory committee for eight doctoral students and nine master’s students. Many of his students have gone on to distinguished careers. Matthews and his students targeted multiple gene/protein research studies that will likely speed up the design of nutritional management regimens to optimize animal performance.

Gamma Sigma Delta Master Teacher Award: Roger Brown. An assistant professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Brown has taught more than 2,200 undergraduates and regularly advises around 50 students per year. Brown is also the faculty adviser to the UK Polo Team, UK Bass Fishing Team and the UK Wildcat Service Dog Association.

Gamma Sigma Delta Service Award: Linus Walton. A college alumnus, agricultural engineer and administrator, Walton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UK in agricultural engineering in 1965 and 1967, respectively. He received his doctorate from the University of Tennessee in 1974.Walton started his career at UK in 1965 as a research specialist and joined the faculty in 1978. Known for his burley tobacco engineering research, he led a team that created a wire-strung portable frame for harvesting and curing. He also developed a theory to understand lodging in burley tobacco. He holds several patents and authored more than 100 professional journal articles in engineering. In 1994, Walton became chair of the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering. In 1999, he became associate dean for administration, a post he held until 2009.

Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Graduate Student Awards:

Aaron Turner. The doctoral student in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, is working on research related to reducing grain transport costs through better facility design, equipment selection and scheduling.

Manjot Singh. Singh is pursuing a master’s degree in biosystems and agricultural engineering. His research focuses on food process engineering.

Gamma Sigma Delta Outstanding Senior Awards:

Brynnan Nicole Jacobs. The dietetics major is a member of the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society and the Student Dietetic and Nutrition Association. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health upon graduation.

M. Elizabeth Wood. The agricultural economics major has been a college ambassador, student council member and peer mentor. Wood also interned with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. She is a member of the Agribusiness Club and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. After graduation, she will lead the Farm to Table branch of Custom Food Solutions, a Kentucky food manufacturing company.

Kaitlin Lacy. The animal sciences major is working toward a bachelor’s degree. She plans to attend veterinary school after graduation. Lacy is a member of the college’s Pre-Vet club, an undergraduate research assistant and a chemistry peer tutor at The Study.


Lisa Collins, 859-257-7249