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National FFA Organization Recognizes ABAC Provost with Honorary Degree

Dr. Jerry Baker

October 10, 2017

Dr. Jerry Baker, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, has been selected to receive the Honorary American FFA Degree at the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis.   A total of 52 ABAC students will also receive FFA American degrees at the national convention.

“Receiving the news was a very pleasant surprise to me,” Baker said.  “When I was told I would be receiving a letter of notification I asked if I heard correctly, thinking I must have misunderstood.”

The Honorary American FFA Degree is an opportunity to recognize those who have gone beyond valuable daily contributions to make an extraordinary long-term difference in the lives of students, inspiring confidence in a new generation of agriculturists.  The award is given annually to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through personal commitment.

“FFA is, in my opinion, the most beneficial activity in which middle and high school students can participate,” Baker said.  “Students develop essential skills for successful careers and contributions to their communities.”

Baker’s involvement with FFA began when he joined the organization as a freshman in high school.

“The involvement at that age significantly influenced the achievements during my life,” Baker said.  “I really appreciate the encouragement, time, and guidance provided by my advisors in high school. Today FFA advisors have the same dedication to helping students.

“ABAC has had a long and beneficial relationship with FFA. When I arrived here I pledged my personal and ABAC’s continued support for the organization, its leaders, and members.”

Prior to his appointment as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at ABAC on July 1, Baker had served as the Dean of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources since 2014.  Before coming to ABAC, Baker was the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society, an international honor society for scientists and engineers.

Baker has also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Animal Science Societies, an association management company for 13 professional societies.   His tenure at the Federation followed his stint as the Executive Director for the American Society of Animal Science.

For 13 years Baker was a faculty member in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia.  At one point in his UGA career, he was the Research, Extension and Instruction Coordinator for Animal and Dairy Science at the UGA Tifton Campus.

Baker earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Animal Breeding from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Morningside College. He is married to the former Kathy Walker of Ty Ty.
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