Lannett Edwards Wins B. Ray Thompson Award Outstanding Faculty Performance Award

Photo of Lannett Edwards with Award

Pictured above from left to right, Tim Cross, chancellor of UTIA; Lannett Edwards, professor and director of graduate studies in animal science; Caula Beyl, dean of the Herbert College of Agriculture; and Fred Tompkins, interim dean of AgResearch. Photo by T. Salvador, courtesy UTIA. ​Downlo​ad image​

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture recognized some of its top faculty, staff, researchers and extension experts at UTIA’s annual Awards and Promotions Luncheon held on the UTIA campus in Knoxville August 17, 2018. Many of the awards are gifts made possible by past faculty, alumni and friends of the Institute.

Chancellor Tim Cross hosted the award winners and praised them for their work. “The people we recognized at our ceremony exemplify the Institute of Agriculture’s commitment to our mission of providing real life solutions through teaching, discovery and service on campus – throughout Tennessee and across the world,” Cross says. “Their hard work and dedication inspires all of us to be our best.”  
Lannett Edwards, professor and director of graduate studies for UTIA Animal Science, is the winner of the B. Ray Thompson Outstanding Faculty Performance Award. The award is named for B. Ray Thompson, a Knoxville businessman who made significant contributions to UT and the Institute of Agriculture. The honor is made possible by earnings from the Thompson Endowment, and is presented annually to UTIA faculty who have distinguished themselves by their exceptional performance.

Edwards has been with UTIA since 1998. Her area of specialty is reproductive physiology - particularly regarding dairy cattle – and researching ways to combat infertility and boost economic gains for producers. She manages a busy lab team, and teaches popular hands-on classes in reproductive physiology. Edwards has also chaired the Promotion and Tenure and College of Ag graduate committees.
She has also received the Buford Ellington Distinguished Faculty Award, the Whatley Young Scientist Award, and Austin Peay State University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Edwards was also a leader on a team that cloned a jersey calf in 2000 from a single cell of an adult cow in the UTIA herd.

“It is an incredible honor to be selected for the B. Ray Thompson, Sr. Outstanding Faculty Performance Award,” Edwards says.  “Agriculture is the ‘lifeblood’ of this great state and the world!  I am so proud to be a part of the Institute of Agriculture and to be able to work with so many others who share my passion for agriculture and making a difference in the lives of others. I am especially grateful to my ‘work-lab’ family for their tireless efforts for the good of the institute and my program.” 

“Dr. Edwards is an inspiring professor who sets the bar for outstanding national scholarly reputation and dedicated service to the university, community and profession,” says Dr. John Stier, associate dean of the UTIA Herbert College of Agriculture.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. Through teaching, discovery and service.​.


Charles Denney, 865-382-8058,

Lannett Edwards, 865-946-1010,