James Orband of Yorktown, Va., unit coordinator and agriculture and natural resources Extension agent in the York County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, has been conferred the “senior Extension agent emeritus.” title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.
The title of emeritus may be conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board of visitors receive an emeritus certificate from the university.
Serving Virginia Cooperative Extension since 1976, Orband was a unit coordinator and extension agent, specializing in horticulture education that emphasized the importance of gardening techniques to preserve the environment and protect the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries. He shared his technical expertise with local citizens and businesses and trained hundreds of master gardeners, and organized many youth and community clubs, regional 4-H center residential summer camps, and a wide variety of projects that taught youth to understand, appreciate, and grow plants.
In addition, Orband assisted the York County General Services Department and its Division of Grounds Maintenance in addressing the county’s extensive landscaping needs. He worked closely with York County’s Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Libraries, Children and Family Services, and Video Services to coordinate services and programs of benefit to county residents.
In 1997, he received York County’s Volunteer of the Year Award. In 1999, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, and the commonwealth’s 2002 Virginia Volunteer Administrator of the Year Award. In 2008, he was given Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension.
Orband received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture from Virginia Tech.