Bob Shumake is one of three statewide winners of the Charles and Julie Wharton Award

2016 UT Institute of Agriculture Wharton Award Winners

​The UT Institute of Agriculture recognizes three UT Extension Agents with the annual Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements. Shown with Dr. Tim Cross, UT Dean of Extension (left) are this year’s honorees: Bob Shumake, Weakley County; Judy Kovach, Robertson County; and Tom Stebbins, Hamilton County. UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington is shown far right.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and outreach experts. Thirty-two people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held in early August. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Bob Shumake, 4-H agent with UT Extension in Weakley County, is one of three winners of the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements. The award recognizes winners in agriculture, family and consumer sciences and 4-H, and includes an agent from each region of Tennessee.

Shumake has worked in both Henry and Weakley counties in his UT Extension career, going on more than 20 years now. He’s praised for his efforts in coordinating 4-H livestock projects, a 4-H Horse Club, and has served as chair of the Western Region 4-H Endowment. 

The Weakley County 4-H Rifle team recently placed first in a statewide competition under Shumake’s leadership, and he is a member of the Tennessee 4-H State Training team for shooting sports. 

An active marathon runner, Shumake is also a leader for UT Extension’s Healthy Lifestyle Committee and was recently recognized as one of the top finishers in the Tennessee State Park running tour. He’s also active with Leadership Weakley County, the local Optimists club, and youth soccer and softball. 

“It is an honor to receive the Charles and Julie Wharton Award for Outstanding Extension Achievements,” Shumake says. “As an Extension agent, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people for over 25 years. The best reward is the impact on the community that our programs have -- but to have this special recognition for these efforts is like icing on the cake.”

“We are so proud of the many talented and dedicated people working for the UT Institute of Agriculture across the state,” says UTIA Chancellor Larry Arrington. “It was an honor to recognize all these award winners for their hard work.”

This award is made possible by Charles Wharton and his late wife Julie. Mr. and Mrs. Wharton have been generous supporters of UTIA and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine through their financial gifts. The other winners of this award are Judy Kovach, family and consumer sciences agent for Robertson County, and horticulture expert Tom Stebbins of Hamilton County.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.



Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile),

Bob Shumake, 731-364-3164,