D. Ames Herbert of Franklin, Va., and Janet Rinehart of Blacksburg, Va., received Andy Swiger Land-Grant Awards for their contributions to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

Established to reward creative achievement and commitment to the college, the award recognizes both a faculty and a staff member whose accomplishments in teaching, research, or Extension work greatly benefits the agriculture industry and improves the quality of life for Virginians.

The college recently honored Herbert during the faculty and staff recognition luncheon and Rinehart during the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Staff Association picnic. Both Herbert and Rinehart received a plaque and a monetary award for their excellence.

Herbert, a professor of entomology and Virginia Cooperative Extension entomologist, located at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) in Suffolk Va., was recognized for his outstanding research and Extension insect pest management program. His expertise is highly valued by colleagues, commodity groups, and industry personnel who call on him to share his knowledge. He has been an invited speaker more than 150 times and has presented more than 340 volunteer talks in the past 11 years. He has authored numerous publications, including more than 100 Virginia Cooperative Extension publications.

“The success of his diligent efforts is seen in the number of producers who have listened to educational information presented by Ames and switched their practices to adopt new technology,” said Fred Shokes, director of the Tidewater [Agricultural Research and Extension Center]. “Ames’ high impact program has made a very real difference in the way many producers do business in Virginia.

As a laboratory specialist in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Rinehart is responsible for operation and management of the biomedical assay laboratory. She provides instruction for undergraduate and graduate students and indispensible support to faculty for assays needed in their research programs. She has been instrumental in resolving equipment and assay problems, which has resulted in improvements that allow faculty and students to conduct more precise research regarding high blood pressure and obesity.

“Janet’s interactions with both faculty and students consistently demonstrate professionalism and she is most enthusiastic in taking on new challenges, despite a heavy workload,” said William Herbert, professor of human nutrition, foods, and exercise. “Fine employees who exhibit all the traits acknowledged by this award are rare indeed. Janet Rinehart is one of these people and has served the department, college, and university with distinction for many years.”

Generous contributions to the Andy Swiger Land-Grant Award Endowment make the annual recognition possible. “With others in the industry and university, we created these awards to keep the land-grant spirit alive by honoring an outstanding college faculty and staff member each year who most personify this spirit by serving the industry through making a real difference in the areas of food, agriculture, and biological sciences,” said Dean Emeritus Andy Swiger.

In addition to recognizing two college personnel each year, the endowment honors Swiger’s leadership and service in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Swiger, who began his Virginia Tech career in 1980 as head of the Department of Animal Science, was associate dean from 1986 to 1992 and dean from 1992 to 2003.

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