The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.
Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands recently visited the Hampton Roads AREC where he took a tour of the facility and got a chance to meet with faculty, staff and students who are working at the center. Just a few months ago, Sands had taken the opportunity to visit the Eastern Shore AREC.
Director Pete Schultz gave President Sands a tour of the building and told him of the evolution of the center from the Virginia Truck Experimental Station in 1907 to the modern research and Extension facility it is now. President Sands toured the lab of Assistant Professor of Horticulture, Jim Owen, who spoke about his work with the nursery industry. President Sands then visited with Chuan Hong, a professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science, who spoke about his multistate project focusing on pathogen control in irrigation water being used in nurseries and also his research on the emerging boxwood blight which is currently threatening the eastern nursery industry. Horticulture Research Associate Laurie Fox then gave President Sands a tour of the gardens around the AREC, which were just starting to bloom.
As with all of the tours of CALS facilities the President has done over the last year, he was extremely curious and continuously asking questions about the research and outreach that the college is working on.
President Sands was in the area for the Hampton Roads-Virginia Tech Showcase, which was an event to encourage cooperation between the university and local companies as the Tech Center gets underway. The center will function much like the current Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, but will also have retail and living space build into it.
At the showcase, Sands met with Mike Jahncke, director of the Virginia Seafood AREC; Ramon Arancibia from the Eastern Virginia AREC; and Joe Marcy, head of the department of Food Science and Technology.