MSU department head receives top honor

Thursday, February 24, 2011
By: Karen Templeton

Mississippi State University’s agricultural economics department head was recently honored for his significant contributions to his field.


Steve Turner received the 2011 Southern Agricultural Economics Association's Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's annual meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Turner was chosen for the award because he has contributed to Southern agricultural economics for the past 25 years through teaching, research and public service.

John Lee, former head of MSU's agricultural economics department, nominated Turner for the award.

"As department head, Dr. Turner has demonstrated an ability to attract top faculty, inspire successful grantsmanship, raise academic standards and initiate new degree programs," Lee said. "He also has maintained a high level of faculty and staff morale in the face of major budget challenges."

George Hopper, interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said Turner's personal commitment to academics, volunteerism and professional organizations is an asset to the university community. Turner served on the SAEA board and was the organization's president. He also helped create the SAEA Student Section and popular Student Quiz Bowl.

"Dr. Turner truly cares about learning and leadership activities," Hopper said. "He serves as an excellent ambassador for the university."

Before coming to MSU, Turner taught at the University of Georgia for 17 years. At UGA, he established a research program in marketing landscape plants and livestock and was among the first group of professors to initiate research on the economics of the then-emerging green industry.

Turner looks forward to continued involvement in teaching, research and administration.

"Receiving this award has been humbling," Turner said. "Although the award is about lifetime achievements, I hope I have many more years in my career. There is much more to do, and Mississippi State is a great place to make contributions."

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