Published: Mon Apr 28, 2014
Rusty Chilcutt, manager of Tennessee Tech University’s Shipley farm and Hyder-Burks Agricultural Pavilion, can balance budgets, fix anything, manage a staff and analyze any problem that comes his way.
And he does it all with a smile on his face.
Chilcutt began working at Shipley farm in 2001, shortly after graduating from TTU with a degree in agriculture. This spring, he will be recognized with the university’s Outstanding Professional Award, which is given to one staff member annually after a competitive nomination process.
“Rusty is perhaps the most respectful and politest individual with whom I have ever worked,” said Lizabeth Self-Mullins, interim dean of TTU’s College of Agriculture and Human Ecology. “He is the same with everyone – always friendly, honest, direct and functions with high integrity, loyalty and wisdom.”
“He aligns his work and that of his staff with the goals and objectives of the university, always being aware that he serves the students, staff and community with excellence.”
Since joining the staff at TTU, Chilcutt has served as the assistant manager of Shipley farm, the manager of the Oakley farm, and the manager of Hyder-Burks and Shipley. He earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from TTU in 2004.
In addition to supporting the academic programming at the farms and pavilion, Chilcutt also serves as the face of Hyder-Burks and supports the hundreds of events that happen there every year, ranging from rodeos and circuses to garden shows and engineering design tournaments. In his time managing the pavilion, he has instituted management plans to replace and maintain equipment and developed ideas to generate revenue for the facility.
“It seems there is just nothing that Rusty cannot do, and do with great proficiency,” said C. Pat Bagley, TTU agriculture professor. “He works well with people, he works well with the public he can fix anything that is broken, he seems to know everyone in the community and he has a great mind for both analyzing a problem and then being able to fix the problem.”