BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 15, 2007 – Richard Crowder of Alexandria, Va., was inducted into Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Hall of Fame, which honors those individuals who exemplify career accomplishment and for their service to the college and university.
Ambassador Crowder currently serves as a special advisor for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Most recently he served as the USTR’s chief agriculture negotiator where he was responsible for directing all U.S. agricultural trade negotiations worldwide.
“Dr. Crowder is an outstanding alumni ambassador for the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Virginia Tech,” said Kevin Boyle, professor and head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. “He has used the education he received at Virginia Tech to launch an outstanding career as a corporate leader and a public servant to agricultural industries.”
Crowder who is originally from Mecklenberg County, Va., received his bachelor’s degree (1960) and his master’s degree (1962) in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. (1966) in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University.
Crowder has more than 30 years experience in the food, agriculture, and international trade sectors. Before joining the USTR, he was president of the American Seed Trade Association, and served in high-level executive positions at DEKALB Genetics Corporation, Armour Swift-Eckrich, and the Pillsbury Company. He also served as Under Secretary of International Affairs and Commodity Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1989-1992, where he played leadership roles in negotiating on agricultural issues in the Uruguay Round of the GATT and managing the 1990 Farm Bill.
In 1999, Crowder established the “George T. and Estelle M. Crowder Scholarship Fund” in honor of his parents. The fund annually provides approximately $1,000 in scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in agricultural and applied economics. He also returns to campus periodically to present guest lectures to undergraduate and graduate classes.
Nationally ranked among the top research institutions of its kind, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences focuses on the science and business of living systems through learning, discovery, and engagement. The college’s comprehensive curriculum gives more than 2,200 students in a dozen academic departments a balanced education that ranges from food and fiber production to economics to human health. Students learn from the world’s leading agricultural scientists, who bring the latest science and technology into the classroom.