Wade E. Thomason, professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences and Extension grains specialist, has received the 2017 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.

Thomason’s Extension education and research in Virginia’s corn and small grains industries focuses on the integration of corn, wheat, and barley into practical, economical, and sustainable cropping systems for the eastern U.S. He serves as a member on the board of directors of the Virginia Grain Producers Association, where he actively engages in education and leadership with such programs as Annual Small Grain Field Day, Virginia Ag Expo, and the annual Corn and Soybean Conference.

Together with Virginia Tech researchers, grower groups, and end users, Thomason has developed a team approach to identify opportunities and provide growers with the tools they need to be profitable. This partnership resulted in a nearly $500,000 funding commitment for grain production-related extension and research.

“It is clear that Wade cares deeply and takes pride in all that he does. He only wants the best for the industry and has a work ethic to support his passion to provide the best and most valuable research for our Virginia grain producers,” wrote Shane Horsley, president of the Virginia Grain Producers Association, and Katie Hellebush, executive director of the Virginia Grain Producers Association, in a letter of nomination.

Thomason has authored 84 Extension publications, 72 peer-reviewed journal publications, and 11 departmental or popular press articles. In 2013, he won the Excellence Award in Applied Research from the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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