Tefertiller Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

Carole L. Jaworski

Kenneth R. Tefertiller (352) 392-1845 ext. 401

GAINESVILLE – Kenneth R. Tefertiller, University of Florida food and resource economics professor, has been honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award By the Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

The award recognizes significant and enduring contributions in scholarship and public service to southern agricultural economics over a professional career. No more than three such awards are presented each year.

“I am greatly honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for my contributions to southern agriculture and the discipline of agricultural economics,” Tefertiller said.

Tefertiller has spent nearly 40 years serving the interests of southern agriculture. He began his career in 1959 in the Department of Economics Sociology at Texas A&M University. In 1965, he joined the faculty at UF as chair of the agricultural economics department (now food and resource economics). In 1973, he was appointed vice president of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, a position he held until 1988 when he returned to food and resource economics. He also served as director of the Center for Community and Rural Development.

“As UF/IFAS vice president, Tefertiller was creative in attracting large increases in funding from the state legislature,” said John R. Gordon, UF food and resource economics chair. “One such imaginative program was AGUA – Agricultural Growth in an Urban Age. Tefertiller was ahead of the rest of the nation in looking forward to the future problems of agricultural industries due to urbanization, environmental issues, biotechnology and pesticide usage.

“He developed strategies so that agriculture could continue to increase its production base while creating compatibility with the urban growth of Florida. While AGUA was a defining and stellar period in Tefertiller’s leadership of UF/IFAS, he was also astute to the problems of water, energy and land usage under fragile environments. Since returning to the department, he has focused on competitiveness issues and impacts of governmental regulations on Florida agriculture,” Gordon said.

Burl Long, UF food and resource economics assistant chair, said largely through Tefertiller’s efforts, UF/IFAS became the country’s second largest land grant agricultural program with its budget rising from $24 million to $96 million during his 15 year tenure.

Besides the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tefertiller has received many other honors and awards over his long career. His most recent awards include: the 1997 Leadership Award from the 20th Annual Southern Conservation Tillage Conference for Sustainable Agriculture; the 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Florida Chapter of the Agriculture Honor Society Gamma Sigma Delta; the 1993 Special Leadership Award for Contributions Made to American Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching from the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching; and the 1990 Agri Business Institute of Florida White Hat Award for unsurpassed leadership in improving Florida agriculture through support of teaching and research.

Among the many offices and positions he has held are: president of the American Agricultural Economics Association; president of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association; member of the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Editorial Board; and chair, Division of Agriculture, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences and a master’s in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois.