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Marshall to Speak at ABAC Commencement December 13

TIFTON – Dr. Tim Marshall, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will be the featured speaker at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College fall commencement ceremony on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. in Gressette Gym.

ABAC Vice President for Academic Affairs Niles Reddick said Marshall has led the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources through a period of tremendous growth, with enrollment increasing from 550 to over 1,000 students.

“Under his leadership, the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources has gained recognition and respect for ABAC graduates in the agriculture and natural resource industries,” Reddick said.  “Through his industry knowledge and the fact that he is an ABAC alumnus, he has been instrumental in reconnecting with individuals who employ our graduates and support the College.”

Marshall is always mindful of the needs of employers of ABAC graduates.

“As much emphasis as we put on subject matter skill sets, I can tell you that the very first things that employers ask about are character traits like honesty, dependability, and work ethic,” Marshall said.  “They expect our graduates to understand the industry.  That’s part of their college education.

“What they want from us are quality people with a good work ethic.  They just want to hire someone who is a good person.”

Marshall has decided to step down as Dean on June 30, 2014 but will continue to work with ABAC on assignments that increase enrollment in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the entire college.

“Dr. Marshall has been a tremendous asset to the College and certainly to the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Reddick said.  “He led the implementation of the bachelor’s degree programs in Diversified Agriculture, Turfgrass and Golf Course Management, and Natural Resources Management. I have certainly enjoyed working with him and look forward to our continued working relationship in a different capacity.”

Marshall received his associate’s degree in agriculture from ABAC in 1977 and his bachelor’s degree in agriculture (animal science) from the University of Georgia in 1979.  He earned a master’s degree in Beef Cattle Management in 1981 and a doctorate degree in Beef Cattle Breeding and Management in 1986, both from the University of Florida.

Before coming to ABAC, Marshall served as Professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Florida for 20 years.  He had three years of service as an Extension Agent in Florida and was highly involved in agricultural youth programs, especially in the field of livestock production.  

Marshall returned to ABAC as a professor and the chairman for the Division of Agriculture in 2006. When ABAC reorganized from seven divisions to six schools of study in 2009, Marshall was selected as the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

“It’s a dream come true for me,” Marshall said.  “It’s perfect.  If I had written a novel, I couldn’t have written a better final chapter to my working career.  My job is simple.  Get the road blocks out of the way so that the students, faculty, and staff in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources can do what they are capable of doing.”

A total of 191 students are scheduled to receive their diplomas at the ceremony.
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