Speakers’ Bios

Brutz English
Brutz English is a UGA Master Beekeeper and an internationally certified Senior Honey Judge. Brutz has been the TBA Honey Show Judge for the last three years and we welcome him back as our keynote Speaker for the 2024 Summer Clinic. He has served as the chairperson of the Georgia Beekeepers Association Honey Show Committee since 2015. From 2017 to 2022, Brutz served as the program director for the Welsh Honey Judge training program at the Young Harris-UGA Beekeeping Institute. He is a founding member, and the current President, of the American Honey Show Training Council. Brutz has judged over fifty state, national, and international honey shows, including Eastern Apicultural Society (2019), Heartland Apicultural Society (2022), Hive Life (2023), the Royal Welsh Honey Show (2022), the Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers Honey Show (2018), and the Great Yorkshire Honey Show (2023).

Dr. Ferhat Ozturk
Dr. Ferhat Ozturk is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA), where he combines a strong Ph.D. background in gene therapy, molecular and cellular biology, bioinformatics, and biochemistry research with a fervent passion for exploring the medicinal use of honey. With a strong focus on the unique biological and chemical compositions of various mono-floral honey varieties from across the globe, Dr. Ozturk is unraveling the ancient wisdom surrounding honey’s therapeutic benefits. His groundbreaking research is dedicated to identifying exceptional US-based honey sources characterized by high bioactivity levels and strong medicinal properties, poised to not only compete but surpass current medical-grade honeys.

Dr. Ozturk’s exceptional contributions to the field have earned him the prestigious USDA-NextGen grant, amounting to 2.9 million dollars. Dr. Ozturk’s work promises to unlock the full potential of honey as a therapeutic agent and inspire the next generation of scholars in this fascinating field.

Dr. Garett Slater
Dr. Garett Slater has 12 years of beekeeping experience, including 8 years working for a large commercial beekeeper in North Dakota. Garett Slater obtained a BS and MS in Biology from North Dakota State University in 2014. He then worked as a scientist and technician with the Bee Informed Partnership at the University of Minnesota for two years, directly supporting 30 commercial beekeepers in North Dakota and Texas. In 2022, he obtained his PhD from Purdue University. He was then a USDA-ARS Postdoctoral Fellow from 2022-2024 at the Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Lab at Baton Rouge, LA.

In 2024, he became an Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University as the state’s Apiculture Extension Specialist. Garett’s current research focuses on developing cheap genomic tools to help beekeepers select bees for natural defenses towards Varroa, pathogens, and other diseases. Additionally, Garett will provide extension support to beekeepers across the state. He has also a long history of communication and involvement with beekeepers via webinars and presentations, specialized courses, and articles. The topics of these communications ranged broadly, including genetics, breeding, reproductive biology and practical areas of interest (e.g., integrated pest management, queen production, disease management).