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National Science Foundation ranks Virginia Tech No. 5 for agricultural sciences


   

Eastern Shore Tomato Project A researcher at the Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Painter, Va., conducts an experiment on tomato plasticulture production with grafted tomato plants. The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station includes a dozen field research centers located throughout the state.


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 2, 2011 – Virginia Tech ranks fifth for research spending on the agricultural sciences, according to the National Science Foundation’s most recent nationwide ranking of programs.

“We continue to excel in agricultural and natural resource research spending at Virginia Tech thanks to the commitment to excellence among our faculty, students, and staff who contribute to this critical area of research and scholarship,” said Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “I am truly impressed with our faculty’s ability to secure extramural funding despite the highly competitive nature of federal and state grant funding and a difficult budget climate. We remain committed to providing the best research results for Virginians and the nation.”

Virginia Tech reported more than $91.6 million in research expenditures related to the agricultural sciences during fiscal year 2009. Despite an increase of more than $800,000 from the 2008 figure, the university kept the same rank as the previous year.

The National Science Foundation defines agricultural sciences to include agricultural production, aquaculture, international agriculture, soil sciences, natural resources and conservation, landscape architecture, agricultural chemistry, agronomy, animal science, fish and wildlife, forestry, and horticulture.

“The National Science Foundation rankings recognize our faculty’s contributions across several colleges and disciplines,” said Paul M. Winistorfer, dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment. “Research in natural resources and agricultural sciences is a very significant component of the entire Virginia Tech research portfolio. The work we do in these disciplines is central to sustainability of the environment, economies, and social well-being. We are very proud of our faculty accomplishments and know that we are making a significant contribution to solving important problems and making new discoveries.”

Virginia Tech’s research expenditures in this area accounted for more than 23 percent of the research spending at the university in fiscal year 2009. With more than $396.7 million in research expenditures, Virginia Tech has the largest research program among Virginia universities.

The institutions ahead of Virginia Tech in the National Science Foundation rankings are the University of Florida, University of California-Davis, Purdue University, and University of Georgia.

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 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 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.