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The 'Colonel' of Southern crop protection dies

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Ed Duskin
During his SCPA leadership, Ed Duskin witnessed U.S. agricultural history, and he influenced it.

Ed Duskin steered the creation of one of the South's leading crop production associations, but before he did that, he had a long and decorated military service. He passed away Aug. 1. He was 93.

Duskin was known as "The Colonel" to many in the agribusiness industry. In 1973, he was asked by a friend to help out what was then called the Southern Agricultural Chemical Association. During the following years, he transitioned the organization into the Southern Crop Production Association, which now includes more than 60 member companies in 16 Southern states. He was SCPA's executive vice president for 42 years, retiring in 2016.

"He laid the foundation for SCPA to become the leading voice for the crop protection industry in the Southern states. He was well known and respected throughout our industry. He was a defender and promoter of the crop protection industry during his time at SCPA and even in his retirement. Whether it was leading the charge on the Washington, DC hill or the annual SCPA meeting, Colonel Duskin always had a friendly smile and welcoming attitude for you," said Bucky Kennedy, who this year became only the third executive vice president of SCPA.

Jeff Cassady followed Duskin as executive VP before Kennedy.

During his SCPA leadership, Duskin witnessed U.S. agricultural history, and he influenced it. He helped lead the association through the starting of the EPA, through the modernization of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, and implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act, and many farm bills.

"His work in the legislative, regulatory, and membership arena leaves a legacy for SCPA that will live on forever," Kennedy said.

The influential leadership with SCPA was just the second chapter in his career.

Duskin was born July 15, 1928 in Dawson, a small town in southwest Georgia, where he went to school and where his father, Jack, owned a grain business.

According to his obituary, after high school, he went to the Citadel, a private military college in Charleston, SC. He graduated the Citadel in 1947 with a business degree and the following year married Ann Oliver. Together, he served as an Army Infantry Officer from 1948 to 1972, mostly in intelligence, including during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. He was also assigned to the U.S. Army Europe Headquarters where he served as a French and German linguist. After retiring from military service, he returned to Dawson to work with his father’s grain business and into the second career already mentioned.

According to his obituary, Duskin’s awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, The Legion of Merit (2 awards), the Bronze Star (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal, numerous foreign award and decoration, the Department of the Army General Staff Badge, the Combat Infantry Badge, and Master Parachutist jump wings.

He is survived by many friends and family members, including his wife, Ann. They were married for 72 years.

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