Greene County Extension Director Milton W. Orr and Greeneville Sun Columnist Bob Hurley were honored with distinguished service awards at the annual Farm-City Banquet Thursday night.
Sponsored by the Greene County Partnership's Agribusiness Committee, the 25th annual banquet entertained a near-capacity crowd at the Clyde Austin 4-H Training Center.
Orr was presented the J.W. Massengill Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, and Hurley was presented the Robert C. Austin Distinguished Service to Community Award.
The Massengill Award is named in honor of the late J.W. Massengill, a long-time Chuckey dairyman and civic and community leader in Greene County and beyond.
The Austin Award is named in honor of the late Robert C. Austin, a Greeneville industrialist, businessman and community leader for most of the last half of the 20th century.
Guest speaker for the evening was Lisa Smartt, a native of Kentucky who now lives in Dresden, Tenn.
Smartt, who travels around the U.S. to share her personal weaknesses, struggles, and the sheer joy of daily living, delighted the audience with funny stories from her family, her rural background, and her abiding faith in God.
AWARD TO ORR
Orr, a native of Blount County who received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in animal science from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, came to Greene County as an extension agent in 1985, said Steve Hale, who presented the awards in behalf of the agribusiness committee.
Orr is married to the former Teresa Seay, and they have one daughter, Sara Elizabeth, who is an agricultural student at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
In presenting the award to Orr, Hale mentioned more than a dozen agricultural ventures where Orr has played a leading role.
"It was Milton who initiated and developed the Greene County Master Livestock Volunteers," said Hale in describing the successful educational program for cattlemen that has become known across much of Tennessee and adjoining states.
"He was also on the committee that developed the Tennessee Master Beef Producers," Hale said, "and he chairs the Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo which is held in Greene County each year."
Orr was cited for his work as adviser to the Greene County Livestock Association in expanding its role by launching award and scholarship programs for youngsters interested in cattle production.
AWARD TO HURLEY
In presenting the award to Hurley, Hale cited his many years of writing about rural life in and around Greene County.
"He has made newcomers feel welcome while educating them about our people, our places, and our culture here, sharing insights they might never have learned otherwise," Hale said.
Hurley, a native of Mohawk in western Greene County, is married to the former Marilda Moore, and they have one son, Dr. Jonas Hurley, of Springfield, Ky., and two grandsons, Henry and Walt, also of Springfield.
"Bob has also covered agriculture for more years than most of us can remember," Hale said in describing Hurley's long tenure at The Greeneville Sun.
Hurley joined the newspaper in early 1967 as an operator of typesetting machines, back in the days when type was still cast in slugs of hot metal.
He began writing sports and working as a photographer a couple of years later, and became a news and feature writer in the early 1970s.