Thursday, September 12, 2013

[098] Tennessee dairy processors honor retired MTSU farm lab leader

MURFREESBORO — In true Tim Redd fashion, he accepted a statewide dairy recognition in stride.

The Tennessee Dairy Products Association Processors presented Redd, the former MTSU Farm Laboratories director before retiring, with a Distinguished Service Award for his 32 years “of leadership and service to the dairy industry through your work at Middle Tennessee State University.”

The award was presented Sept. 6 during the organization’s annual meeting and dairy judging contest at the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville.

As his wife Debbie and three of his longtime MTSU colleagues sat nearby, the honor was given to Redd, who retired at the end of February.

“This is recognition from industry and your peers,” Redd said. “The real work world recognizes you. What we’re proud of is the students and the careers they’ve been able to develop through our programs and the Tennessee dairy processors.”

Redd and longtime colleague Liz Troup, who oversees the dairy processing unit on campus, combined to name seven alumni who have enjoyed successful careers in the business world.

They include Greg Blankenship, Lauren Johnson, David Redmond, Brandon Kimbrell, Adam Carlton and Kristen Ernest — all in the food industry — and Justin Stefanski, who works for the UT Extension.

Redd praised MTSU “for allowing me to work there for 32 years.”

Dairy farmer/processor and the organization’s president John Harrison of Philadelphia, Tenn., presented Distinguished Service Awards to Redd and Hugh Wilson, who spent 40 years as a Tennessee Department of Agriculture milk grader.

“It has been great getting to know Tim,” said Harrison, who represents Sweetwater Valley Farms. “It’s wonderful to know somebody who has as much enthusiasm about the university and the dairy program as he does.”

Friends and former colleagues Troup, Warren Gill and Matthew Wade said the award was well deserved.

“Tim has worked so hard for MTSU, promoting the university and our students’ development in the program,” Troup said.

“Industry likes the quality of training that they (MTSU students) have received and it’s all because of Tim,” said Gill, the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience director. “Tim would find ways to give our students the practical knowledge to make them job-ready.”

Alumnus Wade said he worked for Redd before leaving MTSU for a period of time, only to return to be Tennessee Livestock Center manager before accepting the role to replace Redd.

“I couldn’t think of somebody more deserving,” Wade said. “He taught me so much when I was in school and even after I got out as a mentor.”

MTSU and Troup’s dairy processing unit received a blue ribbon from judge Charles White in the whole chocolate milk category.

“That’s what we’re best at — whole chocolate milk,” Gill said. “Our recipe goes back a long time. It’s a little more balanced toward the chocolate than sweet.”

Also in the Agriculture Building at the state fair, which runs through Sunday, Sept. 15, you can find displays prepared by professors Cliff Ricketts and Nate Phillips and first-year assistant professor Song Cui. Phillips and Cui collaborated in the area of their specialty — plant science.

Ricketts, who has driven 2,600 miles across the country using alternative fuels the past two years (using 2.15 gallons of gas in 2012 and zero gas this year), brought two of his alternative fuels vehicles as the bookends for his exhibit.

The Phillips and Cui display promotes “green and growing” plants.

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