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Mike Goatley receives 2011 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension


Mike Goatley Mike Goatley

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 21, 2011 – Mike Goatley, professor of crop and soil environmental sciences in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, received the university's 2011 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension. He is the turfgrass specialist for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative Extension staff members who have made outstanding contributions to the land-grant mission of the university. One award goes to an Extension specialist and the other is given to an Extension agent. Each award winner receives $2,000.

Goatley joined the Extension faculty in 2004, and has worked to address significant issues for the turfgrass industry.

“Mike is the lynchpin for one of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s most effective programs -- the Turf Team,” said Wade Thomason, associate professor of crop and soil environmental science and grains specialist. “This group of specialists does an extremely good job of developing programs and materials for homeowners and the turfgrass industry. Mike coordinates the outreach components of the Turf Team’s field days, conferences, and short course educational efforts.”

Among those educational efforts, Thomason noted, is Goatley’s series of podcasts that  provides homeowners with easy-to-understand yard care information.

Goatley’s involvement in the turfgrass industry is extensive. He works with the Virginia Turfgrass Council, the Virginia Sports Turf Managers Association, and the Virginia Golf Course Superintendent’s Association. He is also president-elect of the national Sports Turf Manager’s Association.

“This level of interaction speaks volumes about the level of respect held for Mike and his ability to provide useful leadership and guidance,” Thomason said. “He also assists state agencies such as the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the development and implementation of urban nutrient management programs and guidelines.”

Goatley is a member of the American Society of Horticultural Science, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, International Turfgrass Society, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Sport Turf Manager Association, and Turfgrass Producers International. He received his bachelor's degree and master’s degree from the University of Kentucky, and his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.

Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia's land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based educators, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 11 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.