Around the college

Bob Pitman and Tony Wolf

Bob Pitman (left) and Tony Wolf were recently recognized as the recipients of the 2016 Land-Grant University Award from the Virginia Agribusiness Council.

Pitman, the superintendent of the Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Warsaw, specializes in agricultural engineering. Wolfe is a renowned viticulture expert and director of the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester.

The council presents annual awards to faculty, staff, and administrators of the commonwealth’s land-grant universities for meritorious or exemplary service to the agribusiness industry during their careers.

College research funding Virginia Tech’s ranking for federally funded research and development expenditures for 2014 rose to fifth in the nation, securing the university and its research faculty as leaders in helping to manage the nation’s forests and feed a rapidly growing global population. Overall, the university’s expenditures in agricultural sciences rose to more than $103 million in 2014, an increase of more than 15 percent over the last five years. Federally financed research dollars rose to more than $36 million.
Kate Lomaka Kate Lomaka, one-fourth of the first set of quadruplets to enroll at Virginia Tech, is graduating this spring with a degree in human nutrition, foods, and exercise. She is headed to Virginia Commonwealth University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.
Livestock facilities The state has proposed funds to construct new buildings around campus that will benefit the university’s livestock, poultry, and horse programs. The new buildings will help students who are working alongside researchers to develop solutions to challenges facing these fields and will also benefit the industries that rely on Virginia Cooperative Extension for the latest scientific knowledge.
Susan Duncan Susan Duncan, professor of food science and technology, has been named associate director of the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station engages in innovative research to discover new scientific knowledge and disseminates science-based applications that contribute to economic viability and environmental sustainability.
 VALOR award The Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program recently received the 2015 National Association of Agricultural Educators Outstanding Postsecondary/Adult Agricultural Education Program Award.The award was presented at the National Association of Agricultural Educators annual convention in New Orleans on Nov. 18. Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results is one of only four programs nationwide that received the 2015 award.
 IAmExtension photo essay The many ways in which Virginia Cooperative Extension affects people’s lives are as diverse as the clientele it serves. When agents and specialists from across the state were asked how they impact lives, they gave answers ranging from “by keeping dairy farming alive” to “through small business education.”Follow a yearlong photo essay that documents their responses on the VCE Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts using the hashtag #IAmExtension.
bedbugs Some of the commercial chemicals most commonly used to kill bedbugs are ineffective because the pesky insects have built up a tolerance to them, according to a paper in the Journal of Medical Entomology by Assistant Professor Troy Anderson.”While we all want a powerful tool to fight bedbug infestations, what we are using is not working like it was designed to do anymore, and people are spending a lot of money on tools that aren’t effective,” he said.
 Livestock judging The Virginia 4-H Livestock Judging Team (left) and the Virginia 4-H Livestock Skillathon Team placed first and third, respectively, at the recent North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky. The event is the world’s largest purebred livestock show.