CANR recognizes the George M. Worrilow Award winner and Distinguished Alumni Award recipients

October 30, 2013 under CANR News

Three graduates of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were presented with the college’s Distinguished Alumni Awards, while Robin L. Talley was presented with the George M. Worrilow award at a ceremony held on Friday, Oct. 11, as part of Homecoming festivities.

The awards are given based on a clear record of outstanding career accomplishments, service and leadership to the profession, and community service, including service to UD.

George M. Worrilow Award

Robin L. Talley received her bachelor of science degree, with distinction and Cum Laude, in Agricultural Economics from the University of Delaware in 1984. She went on to receive her master’s of Business Administration from the University of Delaware in 1996.

Talley currently serves as the District Director for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency. As the District Director, Talley is responsible for administration of federal farm programs delivered by three field offices in Delaware. She provides leadership to field office managers in planning, managing and carrying out program responsibilities and provides training for all field personnel. She also evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of program operations, advises management on the need to adapt or revise national policies and procedures to meet needs within the state and trouble-shoots program and management issues and institutes change management.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

John Cantello received his undergraduate degree (B.S.) and graduate degrees (M.S., Ph.D.) from CANR. His graduate work focused on molecular virology. Cantello pursued post-doctoral training in gene therapy at the California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA. Cantello currently serves as Vice President, at Worldwide Business Development in GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) R&D organization. In this role, he leads the business development activities for the Metabolic Pathways & Cardiovascular Therapy Area and the newly created Bioelectronics R&D Unit.

Bernie Murphy received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware in 1975 in animal science.  He subsequently attended the University of Arkansas and Iowa State University where he obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees in poultry science and meat and poultry products technology respectively.

Murphy currently serves as President of the Jones-Hamilton Co.  Murphy worked internationally for 7 years supporting the development and marketing of animal health products.  Murphy’s career has been closely aligned with the poultry industry having managed business related to nutrition, primary genetics, processing, food safety and air quality.  Murphy was instrumental in the development and ongoing support of the University of Delaware Environmental Research facility in Georgetown, DE.

Distinguished Young Alumnus

Zaiqi Pan, who received his Masters degree in 2008 from the CANR statistics program, currently works as a research scientist at DuPont Pioneer. He joined DuPont in December 2007, working in the Insect Resistance Management Science group.  His major role is to develop insect population genetics models with biologists and simulate insect resistance development on Bt crops by using statistical tools and computer modeling techniques.

Pan is one of the key members in the Optimum® AcreMax® execution team.  The team developed and implemented an innovative method to deploy refuge for Bt corn. Their creative approach allowed DuPont Pioneer to claim the first position in insect control trait product offerings in the company’s history.


College of Agriculture and Natural Resources honors seven graduates

October 22, 2012 under CANR News

Seven graduates of the University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) were honored for their professional achievements at the college’s Distinguished Alumni ceremony held on Friday, Oct. 19, as part of UD’s Homecoming festivities.

The CANR Distinguished Alumni Awards are given based on a clear record of outstanding career accomplishments, service and leadership to the profession, and community service, including service to UD.

The 2012 CANR Distinguished Alumni are:

Bruce Cobb, a 1984 graduate, is the founder and owner of ARC Greenhouses in Shiloh, N.J., where he markets microgreens, herbs and lettuce under the Mr. McGregor brand name. In 2002, ARC entered a joint venture with Phytomedics to develop protocols to grow pharmaceutically important plants, which ARC now does at a facility in Florida.

Carol Long, a 1990 graduate, is the associate curator of Gardens at Winterthur Museum and Country Estate, where she began as a horticulturalist 18 years ago, overseeing a 60-acre historic garden created by H.F. du Pont. She has served on the boards of the UD Botanic Gardens, Goodstay Gardens, UD Alumni Association, and UD Agricultural Alumni Association.

Daral Jackwood, a 1978 graduate, is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventative Medicine at the Ohio State University. He is an internationally recognized avian virologist for his work on economically important diseases, primarily infectious bursal disease virus.

Mark Jackwood, a 1978 graduate who received a master’s degree in 1982, is a professor and the department head of the Department of Population Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia.  His primary area of research is the molecular biology of avian coronaviruses; he is an authority on infectious bronchitis virus.

The 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni are:

Jennifer McEntire, a 1999 graduate, is a senior director for food and import safety at Leavitt Partners LLC in Washington, D.C. Upon receiving her doctoral degree from Rutgers University, McEntire has been working to bridge interactions among groups involved in food safety regulations, recently focusing on trace back of product recalls and client responsibilities.

Jennifer Walls, a 2001 graduate, is a principal planner with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Watershed Stewardship, Watershed Assessment and Management Section, where she works on a variety of science-based projects related to sustainability. Walls is also active in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves and teaches as an adjunct instructor at Delaware Technical Community College.

In addition, the George M. Worrilow Award will be presented to Ronald Ritter, a 1975 graduate. Ritter is a faculty member at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources where he has a research and extension appointment in the area of weed science.

The award, named for the dean of the college from 1954-65, has been presented by the UD Agricultural Alumni Association annually since 1970. It is awarded to graduates of the college who have exhibited outstanding service to agriculture.

Photos of the event will be available on the CANR Flickr site.

Article by Katy O’Connell


Jack Gelb awarded 2012 Worrilow Award

January 23, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Worrilow Award winners (from left to right) Ted Haas(2001), Wesley Towers (1990), Jack Gelb (2012), U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Walter Hopkins (1997), Joanne Whalen (2011), Buzz Klopp (2000) and Ed Kee (1995). Present but not pictured was Keith Carlisle (1998).

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper spoke to a large gathering at University of Delaware Cooperative Extension’s Friends of Ag Breakfast in Harrington on Friday, Jan. 20, concluding a successful Delaware Ag Week. The breakfast also served as the occasion to present the 2012 George M. Worrilow Award to UD’s Jack Gelb, Jr.

Gelb is chair of UD’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences and director of the Avian Bioscience Center in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR).

The award is presented annually by the UD Agricultural Alumni Association to an individual, in recognition of exemplary service to agriculture. The honor is named for Dr. George M. Worrilow, who served as dean of the college from 1954 to 1965.

Past Worrilow Award honorees Ted Haas (2001) and Spangler (Buzz) Klopp (2000) saluted Gelb’s five decades of excellence and his significant contributions to CANR, Delaware agriculture and, in particular, to the Delmarva poultry Industry.

“Jack is known to Delaware, nationally and internationally for his research and emphasis in avian respiratory diseases, avian influenza, and for his major role in the discovery of Gumboro Disease,” Klopp said.

The economic benefits of his research have been significant, saving the Delaware poultry economy $250,000 a week, Klopp told the large audience.

“This is an incredible honor for me,” Gelb said. “I did not have the opportunity to meet this fine gentleman (George Worrilow) but I have heard so many stories how he set things up and got things done. He inspired people about agriculture. That’s what it is all about, isn’t it?”

At UD, Gelb earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology in 1974 and a master’s degree in animal virology in 1976. He received his doctorate in microbiology and avian medicine from the University of Georgia.

“I came to the college in the 1970s, riding that first ecology wave and then, as now, students were welcomed, nurtured and developed there,” Gelb said.

He recalled, “As students, we got to work with leading veterinarians and researchers and work with farmers directly.”

Gelb marveled at the value of being able to put what was learned in the classroom and lab to practical use in the field.

Remarks on behalf of Gov. Markell

Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, former UD Extension specialist and Worrilow Award recipient in 1995, brought remarks from Gov. Jack Markell and kudos for Gelb.

Kee said previous recipients review the resumes and make recommendations for the award. “You set a high bar,” Kee said.

Kee shared remarks of behalf of the governor and the administration’s efforts to promote Delaware agriculture and its continued competitiveness in a global market.

“Gov. Markell appreciates the economic importance of agriculture, as a way of life and for the cultural traditions that are a part of Delaware,” Kee said.

Kee cited the success of the Young Farmer’s Program, which offers zero percent interest to enable the purchase of land and assists the next generation of farmers in the settlement process.

“The governor understands the need to sustain our profitability and keep on the competitive edge in ag,” Kee said.

Through a strategic fund, the Markell administration supports infrastructure and businesses that are agricultural fixtures in Delaware, including Perdue, Mountaire, Vlasic and Hanover. “We want to keep them here and allow them to compete in a global economy,” Kee said.

At the breakfast Kee shared that Markell acknowledged the Delaware Rural Irrigation Program (DRIP) in his recent State of the State address. Through the investment of strategic funds, Delaware farmers are able to invest in new irrigation systems. In the past, Delaware has gone from 25,000 acres to 130,000 acres of irrigated cropland. “Farmers made that investment. That is why agriculture works in Delaware,” he said.

Nutrient management

Also at the event, Carper saluted Delaware agriculture and its willingness to face inland bay pollution head on by taking the lead in the formation of the Nutrient Management Commission in the 1990s.

Dave Baker, chair of the commission, and William Vanderwende, vice-chair, were recognized for their efforts and were presented with framed copies of Congressional Record statements issued on Dec. 14, 2011.

“In our state the ag community stood up really tall,” Carper said. He recognized the leadership of Baker and other farmers who created an enviable model for the nation to follow.

“It is incredible what you put into it,” Carper said. “It is amazing what we accomplish when we work together.”

Article by Michele Walfred, also viewable on UDaily


Nominations for 2012 Worrilow Award

September 21, 2011 under CANR News

Given in honor of the dean of the college from 1954 to 1965, the George M. Worrilow award recognizes a CANR alumnus who has made significant contributions professionally in an agriculture related field. Past honorees include producers, educators, and industry leaders. Three finalists are nominated for the award by a committee consisting of past award winners, and the Ag Alumni Board of Directors chooses one recipient annually.

Nominations are requested at this time. Please complete this nomination form (WorrilowAwardNominationForm) and provide a current resume or CV of the nominee to Maria Pautler at or UD/PLSC, 152 Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19716-2170 by Wednesday, October 5, 2011. Please feel free to email Maria with any questions.

The award will be presented at the Friends of Ag Breakfast in January 2012.

A list of past Worrilow Award recipients is available on the Ag Alumni website.


Call for Nominations for 2011 Worrilow Award

October 19, 2010 under CANR News

Given in honor of the dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources from 1954 to 1965, George M. Worrilow, this award recognizes a College alumnus who has made significant professional contributions in an agriculture related field.

Past honorees include producers, educators, and industry leaders. Three nominees are chosen by a committee consisting of past award winners and then forwarded to the Ag Alumni Board of Directors to select one winner.

The Ag Alumni Board of Directors requests nominations at this time.

Please submit letters of recommendations, including contact information and current resume of the nominee to Cathy Kinney, 113 Townsend Hall, or via email at by Wednesday, October 27, 2010. The award will be presented to the winner at the annual Ag Alumni Social in Spring 2011.

Please visit the Ag Alumni website and click on Alumni Awards to see a list of all Worrilow Award recipients.