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ALFA Awards go to Extension professionals

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.–The Alabama Farmers Federation honored two Auburn University and Alabama Cooperative Extension System professionals with inaugural Alfa Awards presented at the Commodity Producers Conference in Chattanooga. These awards recognize work directly affecting farmers and agriculture.

Kim Mullenix, an Alabama Extension beef specialist, received the Alfa Award for Production Agriculture and Forestry Research, while Ayanava Majumdar, an Alabama Extension entomologist, earned the Alfa Award for Production Agriculture and Forestry Extension. They received $10,000 and $5,000 in program support, respectively.

“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 University College of Agriculture, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and Alabama Extension staff.

“Alabama Extension is grateful to Alfa for the recognition of both Dr. Mullenix and Dr. Majumdar,” said Extension director Gary Lemme. “They are tremendous assets to Alabama Extension and Alabama agriculture.”

Mullenix, who is also an Auburn University assistant professor in animal science, 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.”

Lemme said while Mullenix’s award recognizes her research it is important to understand that it is a basis for her Extension work.

“She is a master of integrating quality research with impactful Extension programming,” he said. “The Beef Basics online course and i-Book and the new Beef Systems Short Course are a few examples of how she’s helping Alabama’s cattle producers improve their profitability.”

Majumdar is the team leader for Commercial Horticulture Extension Programs. He recently 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 and 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.”

Lemme said Majumdar’s work has been a key part in that momentum.

“Dr. Majumdar is a leader in developing Extension programs that serve Alabama’s almost 20,000 new and beginning farmers. He has leveraged grant funding to build innovative and award winning programs such as the Beginning Farmer online course.”

Pictured above are Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Mullenix and Majumdar.

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