BLACKSBURG, Va., April 25, 2012 – Scott Jessee, of Lebanon, Va., agriculture and natural resources Virginia Cooperative Extension agent in Russell County, has received Virginia Tech’s 2012 Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension.
Sponsored by the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Alumni Award for Excellence in Extension is presented annually to two Virginia Cooperative Extension faculty 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.
Jessee has been with Virginia Cooperative Extension since 1998. While specializing in crop and soil science, he has directed most of his programs toward the livestock industry. Jessee initiated the Virginia Quality Assured (VQA) feeder cattle sales group to improve profitability of beef cattle sales in far Southwest Virginia. The VQA program helps identify feeder cattle with superior health and/or genetics as they enter the market. This effort has evolved into the largest preconditioned feeder calf marketing group in the region with more than 9,000 animals sold since 2005 and a gross revenue increase of $440,000.
In 2008, Jessee assisted the Abingdon Feeder Cattle Association in coordinating a joint session between area legislators and cattlemen to discuss issues facing beef cattle production. The success of the initial session has led to two additional meetings of the group.
Jessee was involved with the Virginia Tech Corn Silage Testing Program that began in 1998. Until that time, yield research for corn silage had not been conducted. The results of the project enabled producers who were randomly selecting corn hybrids to incorporate research-based information into their production systems. Dairy producers were able to improve the quality and quantity of their major feed supply almost immediately.
“Scott is well regarded by the clientele that he serves and his peers for his expertise in livestock marketing, animal health, and value-added beef programs,” said Michael Martin, Extension district director in the southwest district. “His innovative programs have been adopted across the region and state. He is a team player and works to advance all Extension programs.”
In addition to his Extension duties, Jessee is actively involved in local 4-H youth programs as well as the county’s Agricultural Field Day, during which local school children visit the county fairground and learn about livestock and other farming.
Jessee has been recognized with a number of awards and honors, including the National Association of Agricultural Extension Agents Distinguished Service Award, the Epsilon Sigma Phi award for excellence in new initiatives, and the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association's Martin Strate Industry Service Award.
He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree 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.
Learn more about all the recipients of the 2012 Faculty/Staff Awards