Carl Griffey, professor of crop and soil environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently named the W.G. Wysor Professor of Agriculture by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The W.G. Wysor Professorship was established by the Southern States Cooperative, Inc. to honor the founder of Southern States and its chief executive officer from 1923 to 1948. The professorship recognizes excellence in service and the candidate’s potential to further impact the college and Virginia agriculture. The term of the professorship is five years.

Griffey joined the department as an assistant professor in 1989, was promoted to associate professor in 1995, and to full professor in 2002. He has earned the distinction of being the premier small grains breeder in the eastern United States. He directs one of a handful of superior breeding programs in the nation.

In the past 22 years, Griffey's program has developed and released seven hulled barley varieties, three hull-less barley varieties, and 60 wheat varieties, including soft red winter, soft white winter, hard red winter, and winter durum types. Virginia Tech's wheat varieties have been grown in 16 states and Ontario, and barley varieties are grown in eight states. He has brought more than $3.3 million in sponsored research funding and nearly $8 million in royalties to Virginia Tech.

Griffey has been honored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, the Governor of Virginia, the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and the Virginia Small Grains Association. In 2009, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy — the highest award bestowed by that organization.

He has served as major professor for 18 graduate students, including 10 Ph.D. students. He serves on numerous other student committees. Griffey teaches the graduate-level Advanced Plant Genetics and Breeding course and consistently receives outstanding student evaluation scores.

Griffey received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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