Steven B. Hopkins, Virginia Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Orange County, Virginia, has received the and 2016 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative Extension faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the land-grant mission of the university. One award goes to an Extension specialist and the other is given to an Extension agent. Each award winner receives $2,000.

Over the course of his 28 years as an Extension agent, Hopkins has provided innovative programs with measurable impacts to livestock producers and the livestock industry in Orange County and across Virginia.

Among his contributions as an Extension agent, Hopkins developed the Central Virginia Cattlemen Association which has provided him an opportunity to offer more than 100 educational programs. The CVCA uses input from producers to create programs that cater to their immediate needs, with supplemental short courses and specific programs.

Hopkins has also been involved with youth education programs, bringing third and fourth graders from Orange County to tour the Virginia Tech Northern Piedmont Research Center and other farms, rotating through educational stops along the way. These programs introduce children to the field of agriculture and give them a better understanding.

“Steve has built strong relationships with farm producers, local government officials, 4-H families, and funding partners,” wrote Katherine Daniel, senior Extension agent for 4-H youth development in Orange County, in a nomination letter.

“Through the creation of timely and original programs, Steve has increased productivity, profitability, and sustainability in the beef and other livestock sectors in his region,” wrote Scott Greiner, professor and Extension animal scientist at Virginia Tech, in a nomination letter.

Hopkins received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Virginia Tech.

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