Edwin J. Jones of Cary, N.C., has been named associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech and director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, according to Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Jones has served as associate director and state program leader for agriculture, natural resources, and community and rural development at North Carolina Cooperative Extension since 2004, and is a professor of forestry and environmental resources at North Carolina State University.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Dr. Jones’ leadership ability and Extension experience assuming the role of director during this critical time in Extension’s history,” said Grant. “Through Dr. Jones’ leadership, Extension will continue to play a vital role in Virginia’s communities.”
Virginia Tech Senior Vice President and Provost Mark McNamee added, “Dr. Jones’ years of knowledge of Extension and its programs will make him an effective leader. We are extremely pleased that he has agreed to accept this position. His leadership will be critical to the future of Virginia Cooperative Extension given the challenges facing the organization over the next few years.”
During his 23-year tenure with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, he held numerous leadership positions including extension forest resources specialist, department extension leader and assistant head, and associate state program leader of agriculture, natural resources, and community and rural development.
Jones is nationally recognized for his knowledge and expertise in natural disaster education. He helped position the North Carolina Cooperative Extension locally and nationally to bring its vast network and educational resources to help families, communities, and agricultural businesses prepare and recover from disaster. He has served as chair for the Extension Disaster Education Network, a national clearinghouse for extension educational information on disaster preparation and recovery.
North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Jones to the Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council in 2010. He is also a co-founder and on the board of directors for the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute and serves as an advisor for the National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program.
Jones has received numerous awards including the National Association of Community Professional Distinguished Service Award, Epsilon Sigma Pi State Award for Visionary Leadership, North Carolina Extension Specialists Association Award for Outstanding Development and Delivery of Extension Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary of Agriculture Honor Award, Farm Foundation Award for the Natural Resources Leadership Institute, The Wildlife Society Outstanding Education Group Award for the National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program, and the Outstanding Extension Services Award.
Prior to arriving at N.C. Cooperative Extension, he served as an extension wildlife specialist at Mississippi State Cooperative Extension Service.
Jones earned his doctorate and master’s degrees in fisheries and wildlife sciences from Virginia Tech and his bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Washington.
He will assume his new position on April 1, 2011.
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, 106 county and city offices, 12 agricultural research and Extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.