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Claron Burnett, UW-Madison AG Journalism Professor, Dead At 82

Claron Burnett, emeritus professor of agricultural journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, died Saturday, April 21 at a hospice center in Mobile, Ala. He was 82 years old.

At the UW-Madison, Burnett held a joint appointment in teaching and Extension. He taught courses in newswriting, feature writing, publicity, educational exhibits, and agricultural publications, illustration and layout. He co-authored a college textbook, Agricultural News Writing, that was used for more than 25 years, and published a number of studies that examined farmers” use of market information.

As an extension visual aids specialist, Burnett trained county extension workers and produced slide sets and other teaching aids. During his career he built up the agricultural journalism department”s slide files from 300 to several thousand images depicting people, plants, livestock and other agricultural topics.

He wrote and co-wrote a number of photography guides and fact sheets published by the National 4-H Service. Burnett also helped design and produce exhibits for Wisconsin Farm Progress Days and the Wisconsin State Fair for more than 25 years.

Burnett earned a master”s degree in agricultural journalism at the UW-Madison, and a doctorate in agricultural economics at Oklahoma State. He joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Journalism at the UW-Madison in 1955, after five years at Oklahoma A&M. He was a member of Pi Gamma Mu, Sigma Delta Chi, Epsilon Sigma Pi, the Society of Professional Journalists, and Agricultural Communicators in Education.

Burnett is survived by Becky, his wife of 50 years; and five children, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and a number of nephews and nieces. Memorial services were held Tuesday, April 24 in Mobile. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the American Cancer Society or Mercy Medical, Mobile, Ala.