Hal Pepper Receives the Lloyd & Nettie Downen Endowment Fund Leadership Enhancement Award

Hap Pepper

Hal Pepper (center), a value-added financial specialist with UT’s Center for Profitable Agriculture in Spring Hill, is the statewide winner of the Lloyd and Nettie Downen Endowment 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.

Hal Pepper, a value-added financial specialist with UT’s Center for Profitable Agriculture in Spring Hill, is the statewide winner of the Lloyd and Nettie Downen Endowment Award. The award is named for former UT Extension Dean Lloyd Downen and his wife Nettie. It recognizes faculty who serve in leadership roles, and includes a stipend for further leadership training.

A few years back, Tennessee led the nation for farmer’s market growth. We now have more than 150 markets statewide, and Pepper and the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture has been involved in educational programs for market vendors the past several years.

Pepper joined CPA in 2010 after a long career as an Extension economist with Auburn University. He grew up on a farm in Athens, Alabama where the family produced several crops, including peaches and sold them directly to consumers. Now Pepper does work in educating vendors on how to market their products through “boot camps” statewide. Here producers learn the business side of markets –taxes, product liability and how to boost sales through signage, displays and even social media.

He also serves as a board member for the Tennessee Association of Farmer’s markets, and plans to use funds from the Downen Award – which emphasizes leadership training – to enhance his work with market managers. This includes work with value-added products, producer cooperatives, and direct marketing to consumers.

“I’m honored to receive the Lloyd and Nettie Downen Leadership Award,” Pepper says. “I look forward to having this opportunity to improve my skills working with farmer’s market managers and producers who are direct-marketing their products. I’m humbled by this award, and hope to continue making an impact by serving Tennessee farm families for years to come.” 

Pepper also picked up a second award at the event. He was part of the CPA group awarded the Gamma Sigma Delta team award for their work with the Tennessee Value-Added Beef program.

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.”
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.



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

Hal Pepper, 931-486-2777, Hal.pepper@utk.edu