Bayer has named the 2016 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year. Gaylon Morgan, Ph.D., Extension cotton specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service received the award at the Extension Cotton Specialist dinner and banquet on the evening of Jan. 6 during the 2016 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in New Orleans.
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 annual award and banquet has been a featured event at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences since 1984 and has been sponsored by Bayer since 2008.
Morgan holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in agronomy from Texas A&M University as well as a Doctorate of Philosophy in Horticulture/Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin. He has worked within the Texas A&M University system since 2003. Currently serving as the Texas State Extension Specialist, Morgan is an engaged scientist involved in multi-disciplinary fields of research pertaining to cotton production as well as the practical implementation of those scientific advances to the field.
“At Bayer we have the privilege to work with some of the brightest and most dedicated individuals in the cotton industry,” says Steve Nichols, Head of Agronomic Services for Bayer. “Dr. Gaylon Morgan represents the very best of scientists involved in U.S. cotton research and outreach. He is a standard-bearer of the partnership between science and industry with the mutual goal to preserve the viability of the U.S. cotton industry today while simultaneously laying the groundwork for future excellence. His dedication to parlaying that scientific knowledge and experience to the grower is a critical component to the continued success of our industry.”
Morgan was presented the award by last year’s recipient Dr. Guy Collins, North Carolina State University Extension associate professor of cotton. “As a former recipient, I know how much it means to be recognized by your peers,” he says. “Gaylon is very deserving of this award. He is well respected by his colleagues and he has worked very hard to earn that respect over the years. If I had to single out one attribute that is really remarkable about Gaylon, it would be his ability to look at an issue through a different lens and create a well thought-out approach to study and solve the problem. That’s a mark of an excellent scientist and a highly effective Extension specialist. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a colleague, a collaborator and a friend.”
Grower outreach is a priority to Morgan who regularly interfaces with others in the industry through field days and personal one-on-one interactions. He has been very active in FiberMax®, Stoneville® and other variety trials throughout the state. He is probably most well-respected for his ability to tackle current industry challenges to help develop meaningful solutions in an expedient manner, according to Collins.
Morgan has authored and collaborated on numerous scientific papers throughout his career and is regarded as one of the industry’s leading agronomists. He has a reputation among his colleagues as excellent collaborator.
“He has a wonderful, relaxed demeanor,” Collins says. “He is so easy to work with. He grasps the situation quickly and hits the ground running regardless of the project at hand. Perhaps most importantly, he has excellent ideas for research and how that research can ultimately be applied to real field situations. Gaylon is very deserving of this recognition from his peers.”