The D.W. Brooks Lecture Series and Faculty Awards of Excellence are named for a man who helped build a struggling farmer-owned cooperative into one of the largest agribusiness concerns in the nation.

An alumnus of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences where he also taught agronomy, D.W. Brooks devoted his career to the improvement of life through improvements in agriculture.

Brooks, the founder and chairman emeritus of Gold Kist Inc., a Fortune 500 company, advised seven presidents on various agriculture and trade issues.

The winners of this year's Faculty Awards of Excellence:

Teaching - Michael Dirr, professor of horticulture, has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to horticulture, both in and out of the classroom.

Research - John M. Ruter, professor of horticulture, has designed a nursery crop production research site, which has become a design model for the industry.

Extension - Steve L. Brown, professor of entomology, was recognized for his work on helping reduce the impact of tomato spotted wilt virus in peanuts.

International Agriculture - Manjeet L. Chinnan, professor of food science and technology, is an internationally recognized authority on the processing, handling and storage of peanuts, cereal legumes, fruits and vegetables.

County Extension Programs - Eddie McGriff, county Extension coordinator, Decatur County, has worked tirelessly to become an educational leader in the production of cotton, peanuts and vegetables in south Georgia.

Each recipient received a cash award of $5,000.