CLEMSON — Dr. Tom Dobbins, state director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, has been named recipient of the John W. Parris Agricultural Leadership Award by the South Carolina Association of Agricultural Educators.
The award was presented by Nathan Bellamy of Loris on behalf of the agricultural educators at a recognition banquet held on the Clemson University campus in July.
A native of Townville, Dobbins served as president of the SC FFA Organization while at Pendleton High School. He earned an Associate in Agricultural Science degree from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and received a bachelor of science in Agricultural Education and a master’s in Dairy Science from Clemson University.
He served as an agricultural education instructor and area Extension agent in dairying before enrolling in Virginia Tech where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Vocational and Technical Education.
Upon graduation from Virginia Tech in 1999, Dobbins became an assistant professor in Agricultural Education at Clemson and later promoted to professor and chair of the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Environmental Science before being named director of the Extension Service in 2014.
Dobbins and his wife, Kathy, are the parents of son, Troy, a rising senior at Oklahoma State University and a former state FFA officer in South Carolina.
A nationally recognized leader in Agricultural Education, Dobbins has been awarded the Honorary State FFA Degree by the SC FFA Association and the Honorary American FFA Degree by the National FFA Organization.
He currently serves as chairman of the board of trustees of Anderson School District Four and a director of the SC FFA Foundation.
The John W. Parris Agricultural Leadership Award was established several years ago by the SC Agricultural Educators group and named in honor of Mr. Parris of Columbia, a graduate of Clemson University and a nationally recognized agricultural and natural resources conservation leader with more than 50 years of professional service.
After retiring from state government as director of the SC Land Resources Commission, Parris served as director of public affairs for the SC FFA and editor of the Agricultural Education magazine for 15 years.
The first South Carolinian named to the National Conservation Hall of Fame, Parris was also named recipient of the National Professional Conservationist Award, selected Man of the Year in SC Agriculture by the Progressive Famer magazine, and recognized by the National FFA Organization with the VIP Award, the Honorary American FFA Degree and Life Membership in the National FFA Alumni Association.
The SC Agricultural Educators Association is a professional development organization that provides continuous educational leadership opportunities for its members and recognition of outstanding Agricultural Education programs in secondary schools throughout the state.
This release provided by Clemson University