LAKELAND, Ga. – Ben Copeland, president of the Patten Seed Company, will be inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame during a ceremony Sept. 19 at the Classic Center in Athens.

The hall of fame is a program of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

At the young age of 14, Copeland worked in the tobacco fields for the company he now leads. As a college student, he spent his summers planting Tif bermudagrass, developed by the University of Georgia, on golf courses across the Southeast.

After graduating from UGA with a landscape architecture degree in 1967, Copeland designed parks for the Tennessee Department of Conservation. He returned to Georgia in 1970 and took a position with the Patten Seed Company at the urging of its president Bill Roquemore, Copeland became president of the company, which now markets 125 million square feet of sod and more than 200,000 pounds of grass seed per year.

In addition to managing the company’s turfgrass production, Copeland also manages Patten’s pecan production, which includes a tree nursery that provides more than 30,000 trees annually. More than 80 percent of the company’s pecans are exported to China.

The Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame was established in 1972 to recognize individuals making unusual and extraordinary contributions to agriculture and agribusiness industries in Georgia.LAKE