Around the College

Virginia Tech Precision Ag Day

Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm in Blacksburg served as the backdrop for the Virginia Tech Precision Ag Day held in October. Attendees learned the benefits of precision agriculture and how they might cost-effectively use it in their own farming operations. The latest drone technology was also showcased.

Karen Washington

The College Diversity Council hosted food justice advocate Karen Washington in October. Washington talked with students in a roundtable discussion and also spoke in an open forum at the Fralin Life Science Auditorium.

Using drones to learn how airborne molecules travel

David Schmale, professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, and others from Virginia Tech are examining what is in air and using drones to learn how airborne molecules travel.

“Microbes in the atmosphere may be pathogens of plants, animals, and people. Some live in the clouds as invisible weather-makers, nucleating rain, hail, and even snow. Others are professional surfers, riding atmospheric waves in search of new homes in new locations,” Schmale said.

Brandon H. Monk

Virginia FFA’s new executive director, Brandon H. Monk (’13, agribusiness management), has hit the ground running since he began his position last summer. Along with the state officer team, he has hosted the Virginia State FFA Convention, attended the National Convention in Indianapolis, traveled throughout Virginia on a business and industry tour, visited 30 FFA chapters during FFA Week, and explored five countries in Europe to learn about agriculture in another part of the world.

The former high school agriculture teacher, who hails from Frederick County, entered his role with experience in program development for Virginia FFA and as a conference facilitator for the National FFA organization.

These Hokies are going places

What are CALS graduates doing after graduation? Everything! Check out a cool slideshow of recent graduates holding up signs saying what they are going to do after leaving Virginia Tech on the college’s Facebook page. Keep an eye on these folks, they are going places!

Michael Schwarz

Michael Schwarz has been named director of the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton.

During his tenure at Virginia Tech, Schwarz has been a strong supporter of a domestic aquaculture industry, having helped dozens of new and existing aquaculture companies enter and remain viable in a rapidly changing industry.

“Raise Your Hand”

Were you ever in 4-H? Did you attend 4-H camp or serve as a 4-H volunteer?

If so, Virginia 4-H is asking you to “Raise Your Hand” as part of a national campaign to connect with alumni across the country. Please Raise Your Hand to help 4-H reach its goal of connecting with more than 1 million alumni by 2025 by registering at