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Land grant colleges honor Rep. Barrow
Rep Barrow
Dr. Jack Payne, left, presents the Congressional Champion award to U.S. Rep. John Barrow. - photo by Photo provided

America's land-grant universities honored Rep. John Barrow (D-Savannah) as their 2008 “Congressional Champion.” Barrow joins a distinguished roster of U.S. senators and representatives who have received this honor.

Jack M. Payne, Ph.D., vice president for extension and outreach at the Iowa State University of Science and Technology, presented the award to Barrow. Payne serves as chair of the Policy Board of Directors of the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA) of NASULGC, a public university association. NASULGC will adopt the name Association of Public and Land-grant Universities on March 30.

Payne explained the selection of Barrow by saying, “John Barrow is a true champion of the land-grant system. In 2007, he stepped forward to introduce and promote our proposal to revitalize the science and higher education programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

“This proposal,” Payne continued, “was called CREATE-21, which stands for Creating Research, Education, and Teaching Excellence for the 21st Century. Congressman Barrow’s bill was quickly embraced by the House Agriculture Committee and key tenets of the legislation and much of the actual text of his bill were eventually incorporated into the Research Title of the 2008 Farm Bill.

“Through Representative Barrow’s strong and sustained effort, the research, teaching, and extension programs sponsored by America’s land-grant universities will indeed be ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” Payne said.

“I’m honored to receive this award, and committed to advancing the causes of America’s land-grant universities,” Barrow said in accepting the award.

The BAA Congressional Champions' Award is a sculpture of a work horse created by Wyoming artist Robin Laws. Payne explained the symbolism as follows: “There is an old saying that Congress is comprised of 'Show Horses' and 'Work Horses.' Our award honors men and women like John Barrow who are real work horses for the land-grant system.”

The award was presented at a reception in Washington, D.C., held during the annual meeting of NASULGC’s Council for Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching and the association’s Administrative Heads Section. Past recipients and other information about the Congressional Champions’ Award can be found at the NASULGC Web site.