Smith County’s Chris Hicks wins Vernon & Ida Darter Award 


Chris Hicks, UT Extension

Chris Hicks (center), UT Extension Director and Agricultural Agent for Smith County, is the winner of the Vernon and Ida Darter Award.  Also pictured are UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross (left) and interim UT Extension Dean Delton Gerloff. Photo courtesy UTIA.​


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recently presented several awards to top faculty, staff, researchers and extension experts. More than two dozen people were recognized at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville July 28, 2017. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Chris Hicks, UT Extension Director and Agricultural Agent for Smith County, is the winner of the Vernon and Ida Darter Award. The honor is named for the late Extension Dean Emeritus Vernon W. Darter and his wife, the late Ida Darter, and recognizes excellence among the ranks of associate Extension agents.

Hicks has been with UT Extension since 2008, also serving as Director in Van Buren County. The rolling hills of middle Tennessee is good cattle territory, and Hicks has taught Master Beef programs – including advanced production classes reaching nearly 200 producers. Hicks also recently won an award from the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association for recruiting new members to TCA. He earned some money for that award that went to Smith County 4-H.

Hicks also works with farmers in corn and soybean production in variety testing programs, as well as pasture weed demonstrations. Hicks has also taught weed control and forage production for cattlemen’s classes in a number of middle Tennessee counties. Other past work also includes master goat producer programs, 4-H Livestock projects with area youth and ATV safety training for youngsters.

“Having a job where you wake up every day with the opportunity to help people is a tremendous blessing,” Hick says. “I’ve also been blessed with great co-workers who work as a team to serve our clientele, and with farmers who I learn from every day.”

UTIA Chancellor Dr. Tim Cross hosted the award winners, and praised them for their work. “The people at the UT Institute of Agriculture word hard every day to deliver real life solutions to our many stakeholders,” Cross says. “Recognition of the outstanding work by our award winners inspires all of us to strive for excellence and make a difference in the lives of Tennesseans.”
 
Away from the job, Hicks enjoys working in his own beef operation, following UT football – and speaking of being blessed, Chris and his wife Amada are expecting their third child this December. Baby Hicks will join big sisters Aubrey and Scarlett.

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

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

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Contacts: 

Charles Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile), cmdenney@utk.edu

Chris Hicks, 615-735-2900, cbhicks@utk.edu