As the Clemson Family gathered for Homecoming, the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (CAFLS) took the opportunity to honor four alums for their outstanding service to the college, university and agribusiness industry.
The CAFLS Alumni Awards program began in 2015 to recognize the college’s outstanding alumni and are managed by the CAFLS Agriculture Alumni Board of Directors. The 2023 awards included one Young Alumni Award winner, two Professional Achievement Award recipients and one Distinguished Service Award honoree.
“The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences is honored to recognize such outstanding alums who have contributed so much to the college. We’re fortunate to have their dedication and service to support our students and programs,” said CAFLS Interim Dean Greg Yarrow.
The 2023 CAFLS Alumni Awards winners were:
Mallory Maher, 2023 Young Alumni Award Winner
Maher, who graduated from Clemson University with her B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 2012 and master’s degree in Agricultural Education in 2015 and recently finished her Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology, was awarded the 2023 Young Alumni Award.
Maher works for the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service as a 4-H Extension Agent in Walhalla, South Carolina, and has served on the Clemson University Women’s Alumni Council, serves as a UPIC-Intern Mentor for CAFLS students and regularly speaks with wildlife and fisheries classes, agriculture education and various other CAFLS classes about Clemson University, Clemson Extension and their possible career opportunities.
Among her nominating comments, Maher was praised for quickly establishing herself as a leader in engaging youth and the public in her natural resources programming efforts. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for her work.
Maher was described as someone who “continues to represent the best of Clemson as an alumnus and current employee of Clemson University embodying the University’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Mrs. Maher is extremely passionate, loyal, and dedicated to Clemson and CAFLS and the impacts of her work representing Clemson, as well as being an alumnus of Clemson, has had a tremendous impact on those she serves as well as those who support our programs.”
Andrew Hurley, 2023 Professional Achievement Award
Hurley received his Ph.D. in 2011 in Rhetoric, Communication and Information Design, his master’s in Packaging Science in 2008 and his bachelor’s degree in Packaging Science in 2006 — all from Clemson — and is a faculty member in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences and serves as the Director of CAFLS Entrepreneurship.
Among numerous accomplishments, one of the highlights of Hurley’s career is founding an annual event, the Automotive Packaging Summit, which brings about 300 professionals in the automotive packaging industry to the upstate of South Carolina every fall. The event premiered in 2017 and seeks to bridge the gaps in the industry between automotive manufacturers, automotive part suppliers, packaging suppliers and researchers by hosting a space for conversation to flow freely and allow connections to be made throughout the industry.
Hurley was commended for being “ambitious, impactful, and progressive” in his role: “His professional achievement through successful and continued entrepreneurial ventures have employed over 100 people, including multiple Clemson graduates. Andrew is a fantastic ambassador of Clemson University and the packaging industry.”
Don Still, 2023 Professional Achievement Award
Still, who graduated from Clemson with a B.S. in Agriculture Education in 1957, is the retired Barnwell County Career Center director and a former agriculture teacher.
A volunteer tour guide for the Agriculture Heritage Center and the Blackville Historical Society and Museum, Still served on the Barnwell County Department of Social Services Board for 17 years and is a life member of the Omar Shine Temple, as well as a member of the Ellenton Agriculture Club, which dates to 1898.
Still serves on the Board of the Frank and Lucy Hartzog Foundation, dedicated to philanthropy, scholarships and local support of area charities and is an associate commissioner of the Barnwell Soil and Water Conservation District.
Still’s nominator said: “When I think of the definition of an amazing citizen, a true Clemson alumnus and a passionate agricultural advocate, his name is first in my mind. He still enjoys learning about agriculture and remains a steward of the land. He wants to pass on his knowledge and love for both Clemson and agriculture to anyone he can.”
Edgar Woods, 2023 Distinguished Service Award
A 1983 Clemson Ag Business graduate, Woods has been an outstanding representative of CAFLS for his entire career. He is the founder and president of Palmetto Grain Brokerage, headquartered in Ridgeland, South Carolina, and president of Performance Ag, LLC. He is also a founding partner of Silveus Southeast and a partner in the Agriculture Products Exchange with offices in New York, Iowa and South Carolina, past chairman of the Palmetto Agribusiness Council and past president of the SC Grain Dealers Association.
Through all his professional responsibilities, Woods is proud to promote his Clemson degree and CAFLS and is actively engaged with Clemson Extension. He is a highly sought-after speaker and attracts full meeting rooms, especially when a marketing forecast is on the agenda.
Woods and wife Karin have given back to Clemson in multiple ways and, as noted in his nomination, he “has a deep, burning passion for Clemson University and CAFLS. He has built Palmetto Grain Brokerage into one of the premier brokerage firms in our industry, but he has never forgotten what graduating from Clemson in 1983 did for him professionally.”
Because of his love for Clemson and appreciation for the doors his education has opened for him, Woods has always looked to invest in the next generation: “He goes out of his way to promote Clemson to young men and women interested in attending Clemson or a current or past Clemson Student seeking career advice or opportunities to work in agriculture. Edgar is most definitely ‘all in’ with Clemson and CAFLS!”
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