Recently the CALS held its Annual Alumni Awards Celebration where several AETI alumni/a were recognized for their many accomplishments. Please join us in celebrating the following individuals:
- Whitehurst Family – Heritage Family Award
THE HERITAGE FAMILY AWARD was established to honor a multi-generational family that has a history of dedicated service on behalf of agriculture, their family and community, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the University of Arizona. For four generations, the Whitehurst family has been involved in dairy farming. Their impact on Arizona's industry started in the 1950's with Robert "Bob" Whitehurst and continues today. Bob managed the Webster creamery and, in partnership with Sarival Dairy, founded Gogurt yogurt. He went on to become the Vice President and General Manager at the Shamrock Farms Company. The Whitehurst Wildcat tradition began with Jim, who graduated from CALS. His three children, Kevin, Ryan and Sarah also hold degrees from the University of Arizona. Jim started his dairy and farming operation in 1987 and worked there until he was recruited to run the Chandler Heights Dairy for Shamrock Farms Company in 1998. Jim helped grow the Shamrock herd from 8,000 to over 22,000 head during his tenure. In 2017, Kevin became the third generation to work at Shamrock. As the Farm Business Manager, Kevin has been a driving force to utilize technology for herd and feed management. Sarah works in the Chandler School District as a Speech Pathologist, and Ryan works in food safety management in Phoenix. Both Jim and Kevin have been active members of the CALS Alumni Council Board of Directors. For their unwavering commitment to agriculture in Arizona and their engagement and support of CALS and the University of Arizona, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is proud to present the Whitehurst Family with the Heritage Family Award.
- Jose Bernal – Alumni Service Award
An agricultural instructor for over forty-four years, Jose exemplifies the ag teacher's creed by actively promoting and developing the agricultural education profession in the state. Jose earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Education. Throughout his career, Jose has led outstanding high school agriculture programs. Hundreds of Arizona ag teachers have benefitted from his mentoring and support over the years. Jose has provided leadership in professional organizations, and has been active in the Arizona and National FFA, and served as the National Chairman of the Agriscience Fair. He represents Arizona agriculture and ag education programs through his involvement with the Farm Bureau, Arizona Department of Agriculture, Cattle Growers, and other institutes of higher learning. An exemplary ambassador for the university, he has worked closely with the Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation, and Animal Sciences programs. He is always promoting the University of Arizona Land Grant Mission. Jose has been on the CALS Alumni Council Board of Directors since 2012 and has often served in a leadership role. Because he is a role model for agriculture educators, and for his unwavering interest in and loyalty to CALS and the University of Arizona, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is proud to present Jose Bernal with the Sidney S. Woods Alumni Service Award
- Tom Jones – Bear Down Award
Robert "Tom" Jones is a two-time alumnus who received his bachelor's in 1970 and master's in 1985, both in Agricultural Education. Tom is a tireless advocate for CALS, the university, and land-grant institutions. He is a former board member and president of the Alumni Council Board of Directors, and current president of the Ag100 Council. A lifetime member of the Arizona Alumni Association, he served on its Governing Board from 2005 to 2010. From 2005 to 2018, Tom also served as one of Arizona's delegates with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. As a CARET delegate, he played a pivotal role in advocating for legislative support and promoting a better understanding of the impact of agricultural research, Extension, and teaching programs at our nation's land-grant universities. Tom's career is a model of resolute leadership and public service in education, agriculture, and business. For years, he was a teacher and educational administrator while serving as councilman and mayor of the Town of Marana. As CEO of the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association, he has been called "the face of rural electrification throughout Arizona" and is credited with expanding safety training programs and engaging with federal and state regulatory agencies on policies affecting the Southwest's co-ops. Tom's numerous past awards are a testament to his generosity as a driven and humble public servant. A few of them include: the 1998 Alumni Association Public Service Award, 2006 CALS Alumni Achievement Award, 2017 Alumnus of the Year, and the 2020 Lifetime Service Award from the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. In recognition of a lifetime of noteworthy and meritorious service on behalf of the university, and because he is an excellent example for all Wildcats, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is proud to present Tom Jones with the Bear Down Award.