News Release

UT AgResearch Center director honored for contributions to National Society

Blake Brown receives RCAS Distinguished Service Award

Grant and Award Announcement

University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Blake Brown, University of Tennessee AgResearch


Blake Brown is presented with the Distinguished Service Award by Joe Davlin, former president of RCAS and chairman of the RCAS Awards Committee, during the winter meeting of the Research Center Administrators Society in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Credit: Photo by R. Ellis, courtesy UTIA.

Blake Brown, director of the AgResearch and Education Center at Milan with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), was named the 2024 recipient of the Research Center Administrators Society (RCAS) Distinguished Service Award. 

An RCAS member for 25 years, Brown has served in leadership roles including secretary, vice president and president, and is currently the chairman of the Site Selection Committee. He, along with other UT AgResearch and Education Center directors from across the state, coordinated and hosted the fall 2023 meeting of RCAS, sharing UTIA’s decades of scientific and agricultural contributions with their fellow research center managers, directors and administrators from institutions throughout the United States.

“This is truly a great honor, but I couldn’t have done it without my team and all those who have supported me over the years,” says Brown. “I am proud to not only be a part of UTIA and contribute to the remarkable research we conduct each year, but to also be a member of RCAS and their mission to bridge the gap between agricultural organizations nationwide.”

Since beginning as director in 1998, Brown has managed hundreds of research projects designed to enhance row crop production, management and sustainability. A leader in the no-till technology farming movement, Brown has advocated for the protection of millions of tons of soil from erosion through cutting-edge scientific studies and outreach initiatives. On July 25, 2024, the AgResearch and Education Center at Milan will once again host the Milan No-Till Field Day, one of the largest in the nation devoted to conservation tillage.

Hongwei Xin, Dean of UT AgResearch, says that Brown has served UTIA with dedication and distinction. “It is because of Blake and our many other talented leaders that we are established as a premier research institution at both the regional and national levels. We are very proud of his steadfast commitment to agriculture and the university at large. It is a well-deserved award.”

Established in 1964, RCAS is a national non-profit organization whose membership is comprised of agricultural research station managers, directors and officials from universities, colleges, the United States Department of Agriculture and other organizations. The society’s mission is to advance the sharing of research to improve the relationship between scientific institutions and enhance the development of new technologies.

For more information about the Research Center Administrators Society, please visit

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is comprised of the Herbert College of Agriculture, UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension. Through its land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach, the Institute touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. to Tennesseans and beyond.

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