Richard "Dick" Crowder, professor of agricultural trade in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has received the university’s 2018 Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence.

With support from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by Virginia Tech faculty members who have extended the university’s outreach mission throughout the commonwealth, the nation, and the world. Recipients are nominated by their peers, receive a $2,000 cash prize, and are inducted into the university’s Academy of Outreach Excellence.

In 2009, Crowder established the signature agricultural trade conference to educate Virginia firms and government officials about international trade issues. It is the only conference on agricultural and natural resource trade in the nation and provides a one-of-a-kind education and networking. Its 10th iteration was held in March.

“Perhaps the greatest achievement for Dr. Crowder’s work with this conference has been to combine the efforts of the Virginia Department of Agriculture, Virginia Farm Bureau, and other agricultural service organizations to promote agricultural trade within Virginia and the world,” wrote Kevin J. Boyle, Awards Committee chair in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, in a letter of nomination.

In 2012, former Gov. Bob McDonnell requested that the conference be named Governor’s Agricultural Trade Conference, thereby formally endorsing the event by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Attendance has grown over 150 percent since the creation of the conference.

Crowder is dedicated to enhancing the reputation of Virginia Tech, improving economic conditions for all Virginia residents, and strengthening the global position of U.S. agriculture and natural resource businesses.

Written by Lindsey Grooms, Class of 2019

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