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Extension honors J. Lawson Roberts


J. Lawson Roberts, a marketing specialist from Amelia County, receives award. Pictured from left, Cathy Sutphin, associate director 4-H Youth Development; J. Lawson Roberts, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services livestock marketing specialist; Wendy Roberts, wife of J. Lawson Roberts; and Brian Calhoun, associate director, family and consumer science and community viability.

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 27, 2012 – J. Lawson Roberts, a livestock marketing specialist with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, received the 2012 State Friend of Extension Award for sharing his knowledge of the livestock grading system with producers. He has accompanied farmers and cattle groups on trips so he could educate buyers about Virginia feeder calves.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension award was presented in May during the annual awards ceremony of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the Extension honorary organization, as part of the Virginia Extension Service Association annual meeting held in Charlottesville.

Roberts, a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in animal science, farms with his father in Amelia County. He has spent years working with the Virginia Quality Assurance feeder calf Tel-O-Auction program, which is a cooperative effort between Extension, the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other local producer groups. In addition, he has graded cattle for various groups, including Amelia Area Cattlemen’s Association LLC, Buckingham Cattlemen’s Association, and Central Virginia Cattle Producers.     

"I would describe Lawson as a person who is a team player willing to help livestock producers in central Virginia as well as in other areas of the state,” said Cynthia Gregg, agriculture and natural resources Extension agent in Brunswick County. “He is an excellent grader of cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats,” she added.

According to Scott Jerrell, agriculture and natural resources Extension agent in Scott County, Extension’s programs would not be complete without strong partnerships such as that developed with Lawson, who enhances Extension’s educational events by helping at field days, attending conferences, and participating in workshops.

In addition, Roberts volunteers to educate 4-H stockmen and livestock judging teams in Amelia County.

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.