SAN ANTONIO, — A former Extension cotton
specialist with a reputation for thorough, concise work and quick
reporting was recognized last week as the 2018 Extension Cotton
Specialist of the Year, an annual award sponsored by Bayer during the
Beltwide Cotton Conference.
Andrea Jones, the first woman to be named Extension Cotton Specialist
of the Year, technically was a research associate at the University of
Missouri for most of her 18-year tenure.
“She took that position and became the de facto cotton specialist for
Missouri through hard work, dedication, and commitment to helping
anyone in need,” says Darrin Dodds, Extension cotton specialist for
Mississippi State University. “She occupied a position within the
University but turned it into a defining role for over a decade
through her efforts. She is to be commended for not being defined by a
title on paper but rather dedicating herself to providing Missouri
cotton producers with the latest information in an effort to increase
their bottom line.”
Essentially, Jones saw a need and filled it.
“Andrea filled an important gap in the cotton specialists by building
a strong cotton research and Extension program from scratch in
Missouri,” says Keith Edmisten, Extension cotton specialist at North
Carolina State University. “She was the ultimate team builder in our
group and was always willing to participate in Beltwide cotton
Jones left the University of Missouri in July. She now works in a
The prestigious award is voted on annually by Extension cotton
specialists who represent every cotton-producing state across the U.S.
Cotton Belt. Each year, the recipient’s peers evaluate and select a
winner based on a number of considerations including exceptional
leadership and outstanding industry service. The Extension Cotton
Specialist of the Year has been awarded since 1984 and sponsored by
Bayer since 1998.
Bayer, with flagship brands FiberMax and Stoneville, recognizes the
positive impact third-party research has on sustainability for growers
across the Cotton Belt.
“Third-party research to validate variety performance and tackle
agronomic issues is essential to a healthy cotton industry in the
United States. Our highly credible Extension cotton specialists
provides the data, the research and the collaboration our growers
need,” says Scott Asher, Ph.D., Bayer Eastern Regional Agronomic
Manager. “Growers rely on the science our Extension cotton specialists
provide and respect their art – the expertise they offer that helps
growers bring in a successful crop.”
Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State
University and a master’s from Arkansas State University. In addition
to leading variety trials and field days, Jones provided extensive
research on irrigation and weed control.
Jim English, director of the division of plant sciences at the
University of Missouri, notes that Jones evaluated 718 varieties from
six different companies and led 51 cotton trials in her last year at
“And that’s a typical year for her,” English says. “She is an
extremely talented and productive person. She’s an awesome presenter
and educator and I think people come away with tremendous information.
Her leaving was a loss for us, but she’s still in the industry and
that’s what matters.”
Past winners include: Bob Hutmacher – University of California (2017)
Gaylon Morgan – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (2016) Guy
Collins – University of Georgia (2015) Darrin Dodds – Mississippi
State University (2014) Randy Norton – University of Arizona (2013)
Tom Barber – University of Arkansas (2012) Chris Main – University of
Tennessee (2011) David Wright – University of Florida (2010) Dale
Monks – Auburn University (2009) Robert Lemon – Texas A&M University
(2008) Mike Jones – Clemson University (2007) Randy Boman – Oklahoma
State University (2006) Bobby Phipps – University of Missouri (2005)