Steve M. Brown is a 1978 graduate in agronomy and soils from Auburn University and later earned MS and PhD degrees in agronomy/weed science at Auburn and Texas A&M, respectively. He worked as an assistant county agent in a cotton pest management role for a couple of years in northern Alabama and then served as a research associate in a Cotton Incorporated-funded project on no-till cotton from 1980 to 1984. From 1987 until 2008, he served as an Extension weed scientist and cotton agronomist for the University of Georgia in Tifton. He worked for a major seed and biotechnology company from 2008 until 2019, when he joined the faculty at Auburn. His entire career has focused on cotton.
Ben Thrash grew up on a family farm in Conway, Arkansas, that grows soybean, corn, and rice and raises cattle. He received a BS in crop management with a minor in pest management from the University of Arkansas. He also completed an MS in entomology at the University of Arkansas, working on the effects of stink bug damage on edamame soybean. Ben received his PhD from Mississippi State University, where he worked on the effects of compounding defoliation, planting date, and plant population on soybean defoliation thresholds. He is currently an Extension entomologist working primarily on row crops at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.
Tyson Raper is the Pettigrew Cotton Specialist for the University of Tennessee, with a 75% Extension and 25% research appointment in the Department of Plant Sciences. Dr. Raper is stationed at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center and leads the cotton and small grains programs. His research and Extension program is focused on variety testing, fertility, and a variety of precision ag projects. Additionally, Dr. Raper manages the University of Tennessee Cotton MicroGin. Dr. Raper received his BS from Auburn University, his MS from Mississippi State University, and his PhD from the University of Arkansas.