The announcement was made today during the 2020 Beltwide Cotton Improvement Conference, which convened as part of the National Cotton Council-coordinated 2020 Beltwide Cotton Conferences. Jones, who has devoted his 35+ professional years to plant breeding and genetics, received a plaque and a monetary award.
Since 2009, Jones has been instrumental in the development and collaborative release of more than 50 public germplasm lines resulting in six cultivars. Of those six, two have exceptional fiber quality traits that are valued by the market and that help to maintain cotton’s competitiveness.
Jones led the development of a Universal Material Transfer Agreement that helped protect the intellectual property of public cotton breeders/institutions and later private seed companies who were willing to abide by the Agreement.
He also spearheaded efforts to identify cotton fields with appropriate levels of Fusarium wilt race 4 (FOV4) infection and coordinated the first nationwide screen for resistance – an effort that identified 11 breeding lines with possible resistance to this upland cotton production disease threat.
The author of 74 peer-reviewed publications in the past decade, Jones received the 2017Special Service Award from Texas A& M University and the 2019 Agronomic Industry Award from the American Society of Agronomy.
Jones earned his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Agronomy from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics from the University of Nebraska. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 2003, he was a research scientist at Syngenta and then Monsanto.