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August 14, 2015




Don McGough, (478) 474-0679, ext. 5218,




MACON, Ga. - Dr. John McKissick, a professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES), received the 2015 Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB) Commodity Award during the GFB Commodity Conference held Aug. 13 at the University of Georgia in Athens. The award, one of GFB’s highest honors, is given annually to honor an individual who has supported and promoted Georgia agriculture.

“Dr. McKissick’s contributions to Georgia agriculture continue to have lasting effects. The economic reports Dr. McKissick wrote during his almost 40-year career have provided valuable information to farmers and business leaders across Georgia that have helped them manage their risk in volatile markets,” GFB President Zippy Duvall said. “It’s a privilege to present him with the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Award. We always give it to a member of the agriculture community who has made a lasting impact on Georgia agriculture.”

McKissick, a resident of Athens, retired from UGA in 2010. He began his career at UGA in 1976 as a livestock and grain economist on the Tifton Campus. He later transferred to the Athens campus where he split his time between research and Extension. In 1999, McKissick was named the Extension Coordinator for the CAES Agricultural Economics Department and in 2000 was named director of the Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development (CAED), positions he held until his retirement. He is a part-time Extension Livestock Economist with the UGA CAES.


“Farm Bureau has always been a constant in our Georgia farm family. To work with your membership and leadership through the years has been an honor for me,” McKissick said during his acceptance speech. “I was blessed in that I was able to have a career in which I was able to marry two of my passions – working for a land-grant university that carries its research into the community with my passion for agriculture, farms and farm families.”   


While leading the CAED, McKissick started many programs that still provide valuable economic information to Georgia farmers and policy makers. These programs include the Georgia Ag Forecast meetings for which he continues to write market outlooks, the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report, the Ag Snapshots booklet, the Georgia County Guide and the Flavor of Georgia Contest.

A native of Walton County, McKissick grew up on a dairy farm showing eight State Champion Jersey cows and becoming a two-time Master 4-Her. As a Social Circle FFA member, McKissick raised and showed the 1970 Champion Angus Calf at the State Steer Show.               

McKissick graduated from the University of Georgia with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics in 1974 and 1977. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from Auburn in 1987.

He is the author of more than 675 articles and publications in economics and marketing and has presented more than 1,000 educational programs throughout the course of his career. He has given at least one economic presentation in all of Georgia’s 159 counties.

McKissick has received numerous state and national awards recognizing his economic and teaching career and his public service. The American Agricultural Economics Association presented McKissick its Distinguished Service Award twice.  He is a recipient of the UGA CAES D.W. Brooks Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension and the CAES Agricultural Alumni Association’s Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2005 he received the W.B. Hill Distinguished Achievement Award, UGA’s highest honor for public service faculty. In 2006, McKissick was named the first UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Marketing by the University System Board of Regents.


McKissick and his wife Nancy have two children and two grandchildren. The McKissicks are members of Watkinsville First United Methodist Church.


GFB is a membership-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving as the voice of Georgia farmers and rural Georgia since 1937. GFB, Georgia’s largest farm organization, promotes Georgia commodities and offers legislative representation to ensure Georgia’s farming future. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB membership is open to the public and offers a wide variety of benefits to its members including insurance and discounts for health services, travel and family entertainment. Becoming a GFB member helps support local farmers and ensures Georgians continue to have access to locally grown, high-quality food. For more information about GFB membership or to join, visit





Two high-resolution photos accompany this release.


CUTLINE FOR DUVALL & McKISSICK PHOTO: Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, left, presents the 2015 GFB Commodity Award to Dr. John McKissick at the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Conference on Aug. 13 at the University of Georgia in Athens. McKissick was recognized for his contributions to Georgia agriculture during his almost 40-year career as a UGA agricultural economist.


CUTLINE FOR ACCOMPANYING GROUP PHOTOGRAPH: Pictured from right, Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall presents the 2015 GFB Commodity Award to Dr. John McKissick who was joined by his wife, Nancy, mother, Frances, and sister Jane Carter for the award presentation. The award was presented at the Georgia Farm Bureau Commodity Conference on Aug. 13 at the University of Georgia in Athens.