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2024 honorees are William D. Branch, Georgia Seed Development Professor in Peanut Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and Elzie Argene Claxton, an agriculture educator and 1980 CAES agricultural education graduate    who went on to earn a master’s degree in 1982 and education specialist degree in 1984 from UGA’s College of Education. CAES News
2024 Hall of Fame Inductees
An innovator in peanut breeding whose research revitalized an industry and an ardent champion of agricultural education were inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame at the 68th University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association Awards in Athens. The 2024 honorees are William D. Branch, Georgia Seed Development Professor in Peanut Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, and Elzie Argene Claxton, an agriculture educator and 1980 CAES agricultural education graduate.
Peach growers are looking forward to a fruitful season as the weather this winter and spring have been near-perfect for the sensitive crop. This year is projected to be a much-needed comeback from the disastrous season they experienced after a late freeze in March 2023 took out more than 90% of the state's crop. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA) CAES News
2024 Peach Season
Last year, the peach industry lost $60 million due to the late freeze that hit much of the Southeast in mid-March 2023, said Jeff Cook, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent for Peach and Taylor counties. With no freezing temperatures in the forecast and hope for strong pricing during the upcoming season, peach growers are looking forward to a much-needed rebound year.
UGA wheat breeder and geneticist Mohamed Mergoum smells one of several test brews created by Creature Comforts on its annual Get Comfortable collaboration using a variety of wheat Mergoum developed at CAES. CAES News
Blending science and philanthropy
Wheat breeders spend years meticulously crossing varieties to coax the best traits out of each species, carefully propagating plant varieties that are healthier, heartier and better suited for the environments where they are grown. Brewmasters are equally painstaking when choosing the components that will give their beers a specific flavor profile. These two exacting professions came together this spring when Athens-based Creature Comforts Brewing Co. reached out to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to find a sustainable wheat variety they could use to make a good beer for a great cause.
The Arch seen through the columns of the Holmes Hunter Building. (Photo by Dorothy Kozkowski/UGA) CAES News
2024 Public Service & Outreach Awards
Six University of Georgia faculty and staff members are being honored for their commitment to public service and outreach. These honorees have made significant career-spanning contributions to UGA’s public service mission through scholarship, service-learning opportunities for students and campus leadership. All have created a legacy of extraordinary impact through special projects and long-term achievements to propel a better quality of life for the people of Georgia.
(L to R) New Creation Soda Works Founder and CEO Paul Kooistra, Head Brewer Alex Harding, CAES Dean and Director Nick Place. (Photo by Dennis McDaniel) CAES News
2024 Flavor of Georgia Winners
New Creation Soda Works won the grand prize at the 2024 Flavor of Georgia food contest for their product, PECHES Georgia Peach Soda. A family-owned company based in Bishop, Georgia, New Creation Soda Works started selling their soda syrups at a local farmer’s market in 2015. Today, their product line — comprised of sodas with flavors including strawberry habanero, butter pecan cream soda and the old-time root beer that inspired the company — sells in more than 700 locations nationwide.
A field of corn at sunset. CAES News
Protecting Farms And Wildlife
Stanley Culpepper has dedicated the length of his career to supporting farmers in their mission to feed and clothe the world. For the past 25 years, Culpepper has been a weed science specialist for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and a College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty member. Recently his job has become increasingly complex as mounting challenges around the availability of pesticides — primarily herbicides — have taken center stage in agricultural production.
The 2022-2023 Georgia 4-H student board poses with green slime-covered Georgia 4-H Leader Melanie Biersmith after the 2023 $4 for 4-H celebration. Biersmith has agreed to subject herself to the slime again this year if the $74,444 goal is reached. CAES News
$4 for 4-H
The Georgia 4-H Foundation is encouraging friendly competition between 4-H supporters in each county in Georgia to benefit positive youth development during the “$4 for 4-H” fundraiser on April 4. In what has become an annual tradition, each Georgia county asks local donors to make online donations of $4 or more that day, with the goal of receiving at least four donations per county. Counties that receive four or more donations will turn green on a Georgia map that will be updated throughout the day on social media April 4.
The Research Awards Program is sponsored by the University of Georgia Research Foundation (UGARF). Awards are given annually to honor outstanding faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and to recognize excellence in UGA research, scholarly creativity, technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. Award winners are selected by accomplished faculty peers who give their time and energy to help honor well-deserving researchers at UGA. CAES News
2024 Research Awards
As the spring semester starts winding down, the University of Georgia’s annual Honors Week marks a time to celebrate exceptional performance in the classroom, in the service arena and in research, as faculty and graduate students are recognized for their contributions to scientific discovery. Celebrating its 45th year, UGA’s Research Awards banquet and ceremony, set for April 4, will pay tribute to those who have made groundbreaking strides in their respective fields through research, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
UGA College of Engineering students Garrett Stigall and Guy Gober won the 2024 FABricate entrepreneurial contest with their company, Pool Protection Technologies, and its high-quality Sound Amplifying Machine (SAM) that treats algae growth in pools. Photo by Sean Montgomery. CAES News
2024 FABricate Contest
Another successful cycle of the University of Georgia’s FABricate Entrepreneurial Initiative wrapped up Tuesday night at the Delta Innovation Hub, with a sustainable pool-maintenance solution winning the $10,000 grand prize. Pool Protection Technologies, founded by UGA College of Engineering students Garrett Stigall and Guy Gober, highlighted its high-quality sound amplifying machine (SAM) that treats algae growth in pools.
CAES virologist Malak Esseili has found that certain teas inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in saliva — in some cases by up to 99.9%. This matters because the virus infects and replicates inside the oral cavity, passing through the oropharynx before reaching the lungs. CAES News
COVID Tea
New research from the University of Georgia suggests that something as simple as a cup of tea can help in the fight against COVID-19. Tea has been renowned globally for its many health benefits, and Malak Esseili, a virologist with the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, wanted to know if it may also affect SARS-CoV-2.