MSU alumnus recognized with national service award by alumni and development association

posted on July 17, 2014 1:23pm

Tim and Mary Beard (view larger image)
Tim and Mary Beard

Timothy D. Beard III, of New Oxford, Pennsylvania, was recognized with a national volunteer service award by the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association (NAADA) at Pennsylvania State University last month.

Beard received two degrees from Michigan State University (MSU)—a bachelor of science in horticulture in 1958 and a master’s degree in food science in 1960.  

Nominated by MSU officials, Beard was one of two National Volunteer Service Award winners recognized during the annual NAADA meeting.

He pursued a career in research and quality assurance at major food companies including Campbell Soup, Nabisco and Hanover Foods, and a distinguished military career. He served in the U.S. Navy with distinction, retiring as a rear admiral in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 2002. His service following the 9/11 attacks earned him a special commendation from the New Jersey State Senate.

“For more than four decades, Beard has tirelessly supported MSU and the land-grant mission,” said Kathryn Reed, alumni coordinator for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU. “Tim has been an advocate of sustainable growth and agriculture. He has brought Spartan green into Pennsylvania.”

A lifetime member of the MSU Alumni Association, he served as president of the MSUAA Philadelphia and Central Pennsylvania regional clubs, and he successfully lobbied the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to offer an MSU alumni organizational license plate. 

In addition, Beard has volunteered for Penn State Extension in the fruit exhibit area of the Pennsylvania Farm Show. He helps out daily during the entire week as an expert for the group’s Ask the Expert/Meet Your Local Grower booth. In this capacity, he has answered thousands of questions for Farm Show attendees, and participants look for him year after year.

Beard and his wife, Mary, grow several heirloom apple varieties and have the largest collection of pre-Civil War varieties in the United States. Each fall, the Beards open their home – the Gray Wolf Plantation – to school groups and families, allowing as many as 1,000 school-age children the opportunity to pick apples, pumpkins and gourds, and learn about how these crops grow.


Tim also advocates for the Penn State College of Agriculture on a regular basis by keeping  state leaders informed of the importance of Extension and applied research. On behalf of specialty crop programming, he makes a point of meeting with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture leaders while at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and other grower events.


Beard has also been a strong advocate of sustainable land management and smart growth. He is an elected township official and  serves on a broad range of commissions and planning committees that work to enhance quality of life and encourage environmental and community sustainability.