Guy Collins, formerly the Extension cotton specialist for Georgia who recently relocated to a similar position in North Carolina, was named the Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences.
Dr. Collins, who has been leading a Beltwide cotton project aimed at helping producers improve their variety selection, was honored during the annual Extension Cotton Specialists dinner sponsored by Bayer Crop Sciences in San Antonio.
Darrin Dodds, Ph.D., associate Extension professor at Mississippi State University and 2014 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year, has known Collins since they began working together on annual variety trials more than four years ago.
“The Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year is the highest honor in cotton agronomy. The winner is chosen by his peers, and Guy is truly deserving of the award,” Dodds said. “His commitment and passion to help cotton growers and agronomists be the best they can be is incredible.
“Guy constantly demonstrates leadership in the field, and it shows in his work. Guy has consistently gone above and beyond for growers, retailers and agronomists to help them reach excellence and maintain steady success in their operations.”
Steve Nichols, head of Agronomic Services for Bayer CropScience, said the company is excited to congratulate Collins on his achievement.
“Guy Collins is a well-established professional in the cotton industry,” Nichols said. “His research and expertise in agronomy and cotton management have enabled growers to improve cotton production and increase yields, leading to larger profits year after year.
Dodds and Nichols said Collins works to improve cotton agronomy through yield trial studies he shares at grower meetings and industry presentations. He also shows strong leadership at annual industry meetings through volunteer efforts that include interpreting agronomic data, developing presentations and serving on industry councils.
Collins has been lauded by peers for his ability to break down data. “His ability to relay data and scientific information to growers in a way that’s understandable, yet meticulous, is invaluable to the industry. He makes it easy for growers to implement findings on their farms,” said Dodds.
Collins’ background includes a Bachelor of Science in agronomy and a Master of Science in crop science from North Carolina State University, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in crop science in 2009.
Prior to his recent transition back to North Carolina State University, Collins spent the majority of his time working at the University of Georgia Tifton campus, where he supported and educated growers on the latest cotton management techniques, as well as provided them with relevant research information.
Collins was also able to collaborate with Georgia cotton growers to help them make key operational decisions, achieve maximum yields, reduce production costs and optimize agronomic inputs.
“People seek out Guy’s opinion for the Extension work he’s done, the level of knowledge he has about cotton agronomy and the leadership qualities he exemplifies,” Dodds said. “His cotton variety research is second to none, and his peers see that. This award signifies the work ethic he brings to the field every day, and the love he has for the field.”
The annual award and banquet has been a featured event at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences since 1984. Extension cotton specialists who represent every cotton-producing state select a winner annually based on leadership and industry service. The award has been sponsored by Bayer CropScience since 2008.