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CSES roundup

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CSES roundup

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2014 Extension Master Gardener Annual Report now available

The Office of the State Master Gardener Coordinator is pleased to announce that the 2014 Annual Report is officially available. This extensive report covers all the changes and updates that have been made to the program over the past several years, including an in-depth look at the strategic planning process. The report also covers each of the 62 units from across Virginia with the information given by the units on their 2014 accomplishments and highlights.

This year, printed copies of the report will go out to Extension stakeholders across the state with the Agency 229 Annual Report.

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Two years, twelve fellows, and nine regions: Leadership counts

VALORIt’s a watershed moment for VALOR fellows. The twelve fellows — beef farmers, a dairy herdsperson, a row crop farmer, entrepreneurs, and bankers — who were chosen a year ago to represent Virginia’s richly diverse agriculture perspectives are halfway through the two-year agriculture leadership program.

By the time you read this, the group will have spent the first year of their VALOR experience traveling Virginia, talking agrotourism with dairy farmers in Blue Ridge pastures, mulling peri-urban marketing with lettuce growers and mobile farmers’ marketeers in the greenhouses and parking lots of Northern Virginia, and polishing their media skills in Washington, D.C.

Traveling through each of Virginia’s nine agricultural regions, they’ve seen leadership in real-world context where communication, a big-picture contextual knowledge, and diplomacy help negotiate a path to innovation and progress.

Local hosts of each VALOR seminar are key stakeholders. Hosts provide a window into regional agriculture where environmental stewardship is smart business for oyster companies on the Northern Neck (see Fellow Lauren Arbogast’s article); county-supplied hydrocoolers and food hubs help southwest Virginia small farmers link to greater prosperity in a regional marketplace; and land-grant university science helps Northern Neck soybean growers reach a global market.

Having gathered regional and community agricultural context, these VALOR fellows are ready for national- and world-views. This winter they’ll travel to Florida, then Vietnam.

Join them as they blog their adventures in agricultural leadership, Follow VALOR on Facebook, and, for even more VALOR Fellowship information, contact Director Megan Seibel.

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New associate director of Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station

Dear colleagues,

Jody Jellison will be leaving Virginia Tech in late December to assume a new role as the director of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and assistant vice chancellor for agricultural research and engagement. She has served as the associate director of Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station for the past five years.

I would like to congratulate Jody on her new appointment and thank her for the excellent performance and the many contributions she has made to the VAES and CALS. She will be greatly missed and I wish her continued success in this new phase of her career.

I am pleased to announce that Sue Duncan, professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, has accepted our offer to serve as the associate director of VAES effective Jan. 10, 2016.

Sue joined Virginia Tech as an assistant professor in 1990. She has developed an excellent teaching and research program that focuses on flavor, sensory quality, and nutrient value of the food, including consumer emotional response to food and packaging. From 2004-2011, Sue served as the director of Virginia Tech Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences IGERT program funded by the National Science Foundation and currently serves as a co-director of the Virginia Tech Water INTERface Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program. Sue is the recipient of several awards and recognitions and is very active in her discipline at the national level.

I am delighted that she has accepted our offer to serve in this new leadership role. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Sue in her new position.

Thank you,
Saied Mostaghimi

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