Virginia Tech has named Mark A. McCann, formerly head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech, interim associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and interim director of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

“Mark brings an extensive and solid background in Extension to this position,” said Dean Sharron Quisenberry when making the announcement.

He will provide leadership to the Extension program, which is located throughout the commonwealth and operates from107 offices in all counties and most of the cities of Virginia. Extension agents provide leadership for programs that bring the resources of the land-grant universities, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University to help all the citizens of the commonwealth.

McCann, who lives in Giles County, came to Virginia Tech in 2001 from the University of Georgia to provide leadership for the department and to serve as Extension project leader. The department, which has more than 400 students, was recently recognized as a University Exemplary Department for its excellence in student advising.

He succeeds Patricia Sobrero who will pursue other academic work in the college as a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

McCann is a graduate of North Carolina State University and received his Ph.D. in agriculture from Texas Tech University in 1986. Then he joined the faculty at the University of Georgia and built a beef cattle extension and research program there funded by more than $800,000 in research grants. His work contributed to the release of Alfagraze alfalfa, Jesup improved tall fescue, and Max Q tall fescue.

Additionally, he led cooperative research efforts focused on the effect of cattle management and its effect on water runoff and stream quality. Author of many articles and abstracts, McCann has worked to accelerate the dissemination of information to beef cattle producers through extension and experiment station publications as well as programs and conferences.

Virginia Cooperative Extension provides research-based educational resources to individuals, families, groups and organizations especially in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. It operates through a network of on-campus and local Extension offices and educators.

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