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Virginia Cooperative Extension announces administrative changes

BLACKSBURG, Va., Oct. 6, 2011 – Ed Jones, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, has announced several administrative actions to enhance the organization's effectiveness and better serve the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension will launch a national search for an associate director for agriculture and natural resources. This position, which has been vacant for two years, will be responsible for providing leadership for Extension’s agricultural and natural resources programs and will serve as a liaison with industry, organizations, and government agencies. Bob Smith, associate dean for engagement in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, will chair the search committee. 
  • Brian Calhoun has been appointed associate director for community viability and family and consumer sciences. In addition to his current leadership responsibilities for community viability programs, he will oversee the family and consumer sciences programs.
  • Karen Gehrt, former associate director for family and consumer sciences, will lead the development of a statewide reporting system to collect and document the impact that Extension’s programs have on Virginians.
  • Extension will begin transitioning the community viability specialists into the appropriate academic departments in order to enhance their connection with other faculty members and improve their capacity to build on the great programs they conduct.
  • Caroline and King George counties have been moved from Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Southeast District to the Northern District. Because many of their efforts are conducted with other counties in the Northern District, this move will better serve these counties administratively and will formally align the counties.

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.