Shortly after Ed Duskin retired from a successful — and decorated — military career, a friend asked if he would do him a favor and organize the records of the Southern Agricultural Chemical Association, now the Southern Crop Production Association (SCPA).
Duskin agreed, in consideration of an all-expense paid trip to the National Agricultural Chemical Association’s annual meeting, held that year at the famous Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. That was in 1972. A year later he accepted the position of executive director. He retired two years ago after serving the organization for 42 years.
In recognition of the many contributions Duskin and his wife, Ann, made to the organization over those four decades, SCPA honored him at this year’s annual meeting with a Lifetime Achievement Award, one of only a handful of those awards ever bestowed, said outgoing SCPA President Steve Williams during the announcement at this year’s annual conference at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C.
Williams and new president Michael Boden commented on Duskin’s remarkable career.
“He took on the job of organizing the records as a favor,” Williams said. “And 42 years later he retired. For years, Ed was the face and the motivating force behind SCPA.”
“He always had a passion for the organization and the issues we faced,” Boden added. Boden noted that Duskin took a lot of the discipline and leadership skills he learned in the military to get things done. “He was a colonel in the army,” Boden said. “He knew how to lead.”
Duskin grew up in south Georgia, graduated from the Citadel at age 18, and earned a master’s degree from Georgia Southwestern University.
“He had a distinguished military career,” Williams said. “He served three tours in Viet Nam and received the Distinguished Service Award and two Bronze Stars. He retired as a colonel.”
Williams said Duskin never compromised his principles.
Jeff Cassady SCPA executive vice president, said Duskin witnessed a lot of changes during his 42-year tenure with SCPA before retiring in 2016 at age 87.
Changes included industry consolidation and the introduction of many new active ingredients and technologies (including biotechnology).
Cassady said that during Duskin’s service “the association flourished. He directed the association in an honorable and sustainable manner. During those 42 years, association membership grew significantly, and the association’s finances were managed well.
“He generally laid the foundation for what the association is today…and will be in the future,” Cassady said.
“Ed and Ann just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2018.”
As a continuing reminder of their contributions to the organization, SCPA awards the Ed and Ann Duskin Scholarships, through the FFA. The scholarships were awarded to four recipients at this year’s conference.