2021 D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards

Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, at 3:30 p.m.


The D.W. Brooks Lecture and Awards

How science, technology and innovation can accelerate the transformation of our agri-food systems 

For decades, humanity has struggled to end hunger and poverty and now the numbers are marching up. Where does science, innovation and technology fit in to the struggle to achieve zero hunger once and for all? How has this challenge of producing more food changed since COVID-19? How has e-agriculture advanced how we produce and consume our food and changed the face of farming around the world? More importantly, how do we get these scientific and technological innovations to the most under-resourced farmers?

These and more questions were answered during a dynamic and interactive talk by United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Chief Scientist Ismahane Elouafi on November 2, 2021.


Ismahane Elouafi, chief scientist of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization

Ismahane Elouafi is the first chief scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a new position created within FAO’s core leadership structure.

She has nearly two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She is internationally known for her work promoting neglected and underutilized crops, using non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowering women in science.

Learn more about
Ismahane Elouafi


2021 Award Winners

The D.W. Brooks Awards recognize faculty who make outstanding contributions to the college's critical mission areas.

The 2021 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Public Service Extension goes to UGA Cooperative Extension Lowndes County Coordinator Jacob Price. Price began his Extension career focusing on horticulture and green industry issues, and he has led multiple programs to include the green industry, row crops and vegetables, as well as the state's emerging crops, like citrus.

The 2021 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching goes to Marin Brewer, associate professor of mycology in the Department of Plant Pathology. Brewer teaches two courses on fungi at UGA every year, and her research focuses on the evolution and diversity of fungal threats to plants and people.

The 2021 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension goes to Scott Monfort, Extension peanut agronomist and UGA Peanut Team leader on the Tifton campus. Monfort’s primary focus area is the development of cost-effective crop management systems including seed quality, cultivar evaluation, tillage systems and precision agriculture technologies in peanuts. His primary role is to provide support to county Extension agents in all peanut-producing counties and to provide research-based recommendations to help peanut growers in Georgia to remain economically viable.

The 2021 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Diversity goes to plant pathology Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator Shavannor Smith. Smith’s research focuses on the structure, function and evolution of plant disease resistance genes and pathogen virulence genes to understand plant defense mechanisms. Smith has been instrumental in recruiting and supporting students from underrepresented groups and is an advocate for creating inclusive and equitable learning environments to improve innovation and creativity in the sciences.

The 2021 D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Research goes to Zenglu Li, Georgia Seed Development Professor in Soybean Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. Li’s research interests are focused on the development of soybean varieties using an integrated classical and molecular breeding approach, the discovery of innovative genetic and genomic solutions to abiotic and biotic limitations of soybean productivity, and the use of genomic and phenomic technologies to improve selection efficiency.


Dr. Ismahane Elouafi

Event Contact:

Regina Fitzpatrick Director of External Affairs
Dean and Directors Office

Media Contact:

Jordan Powers Public Relations Coordinator
Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC)
About the Lecture and Awards
The D.W. Brooks Lecture is named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder of Gold Kist, Inc. Brooks started Cotton States Mutual Insurance Companies in 1941. He advised seven U.S. presidents on farm and trade issues. Among his many honors, he was the first inductee into the University of Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame. CAES hosts the annual lecture series and faculty awards for excellence celebration in his memory.
CAES Signature Events
This event is a part of CAES Signature Events. These special events showcase outstanding faculty contributions, foster community and industry collaboration, and spotlight the college's impact on a global scale.
Signature Events - celebrating excellence