Edwin J. Jones, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and associate dean of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, recently was recognized by the Virginia Agribusiness Council for his outstanding service to the agribusiness industry.

Jones received the 2015 Land-Grant University award last month at the 2015 Virginia Cooperative Extension Professional Development Conference in Blacksburg. The council presents awards annually to faculty, staff, and administrators of the commonwealth’s land-grant universities, which include both Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, for meritorious or exemplary services to the industry of agribusiness during their careers.

“Dr. Jones has devoted most of his career to land-grant universities, and we are so fortunate to benefit from his effective leadership for Virginia Cooperative Extension and at Virginia Tech,” said Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “He has fostered an excellent rapport among university, industry, and government stakeholders and has become a highly respected leader for Virginia Cooperative Extension.”

Virginia Agribusiness Council President Katie Frazier said in a news release, “Ed’s leadership over the past four years has led to a thriving Extension program throughout Virginia. He has worked closely with the industry to anticipate its needs and to lead Extension to fill a variety of crucial roles. We look forward to continuing to work with Ed to build upon the good work Extension is doing to further the land-grant mission.”

Jones grew up in a farming community in Illinois and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington. He received master’s and doctoral degrees in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech. He also served as an Extension wildlife specialist at Mississippi State University before spending more than two decades at North Carolina State University, most recently as state program leader for agriculture and natural resources and rural development. Jones returned to Virginia in 2011 to serve as the director of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for work that I really enjoy,” said Jones. “I’ve worked for many years in the land-grant system, and I feel fortunate to be able to be part of the success of the state’s agriculture economy and also serve with producers, faculty members, and those who make policy to build a better Virginia.”

The nonprofit Virginia Agribusiness Council, located in Richmond, represents the interests of the agriculture and forestry industries in the commonwealth by serving as liaisons between governing bodies and industry. Its membership includes farmers, foresters, and other agricultural producers; industry suppliers; marketers and processors; and commodity and industry associations.



Written by Amy Loeffler.

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