The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Alumni Association recognized posthumously Bulloch farmer Jimmy Blitch as an outstanding college alumni at the 66th CAES Alumni Association Awards banquet held at the University of Georgia Tate Center Grand Hall. Mr. Blitch’s widow, Patricia Blitch, received the award at the ceremony. Mr. Blitch was one of four to receive the Award of Excellence.

The CAES Alumni Association Award of Excellence recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field and/or in their community. From left, Garth Boyd, Joy Carter Crosby, CAES Dean Nick Place, Patricia Blitch (wife of the late Jimmy Blitch) and Swagata “Ban” Banerjee. Credit: UGA CAES

The CAES Alumni Association Award of Excellence recognizes alumni who have achieved excellence in their chosen field and/or in their community.

James M. “Jimmy” Blitch, a 1954 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, owned and operated Blitch Place Farms, a five-generation diversified farm in Bulloch County, Georgia. The farm currently includes a 275-head brood cow herd and has produced tobacco, wheat, oats, rye, Bahia grass, peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, timber, cattle and swine. Blitch spent his life helping to advance the agricultural industry, including serving as president of the Georgia Crop Improvement Association, spending 12 years on the executive board of the Georgia Peanut Commission and serving six years on the CAES Advisory Council.

A proponent of applied research, Blitch was a pioneer in implementing research-based practices on his farm and others to improve crop production and strengthen agriculture. In 2019, the CAES Alumni Association East Georgia Chapter honored Blitch for his service to agriculture with a brick paver engraved with his name and graduation date placed on the UGA Athens campus. For more than 60 years, Blitch worked as an active ambassador for agriculture in the community, state and nation, encouraging young people to pursue agriculture and strengthening the relationship between the public and the agricultural community. He passed away on Jan. 20, 2022, and his life is celebrated and honored by his family, the college and the communities he supported.

“The 2022 CAES Awards Celebration was a stellar event. It is so impactful to be able to celebrate in person once again and this year’s honorees were truly deserving of their accolades,” said Sarah Cook, CAES Alumni Association board president and director of domestic trade at the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

“The importance of celebrating the best, brightest and most dedicated champions of our state’s No. 1 industry cannot be understated,” said Cook. “These honorees give of their time and talents for the betterment of our farmers, producers, agribusinesses and advocates. I was honored to be called upon to help acknowledge their commitment to our college, university and state.”

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...