Clemson's Mike Jones Takes Beltwide Award Home Named 2007 Extension Cotton Specialist of the Year. Published on: Jan 19, 2007 Tweet Post to Your Wall. Email Story RSS Permalink Print Clemson extension specialist Mike Jones was awarded one of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences top honors, Jan. 9, when he was recognized as the 2007 Cotton Specialist of the Year. Jones is an associate professor in Entomology, Soils and Plant Sciences at Clemson University's Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence. "Mike started his career in Mississippi conducting research on cotton, but, he soon heard the same calling his father had, and moved to South Carolina to become the Extension Cotton Specialist there," noted N.C. State University cotton specialist Keith Edmisten, who made the award presentation. "He grew up watching his father serve as the tobacco specialist in Virginia so he had a good idea of what was involved in extension work. Mike uses his research background and skills to support his practically-oriented extension program in South Carolina." Among other research projects, Jones is known for his work to learn more about the causes of cotton seed rot, to develop a profitable strip-tillage system for cotton and in researching boll openers for late-season cotton management. The award is sponsored annually by the Chemtura Corporation. It was awarded at a banquet at New Orleans' Dickie Brennan Steak House, during the 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences.