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CALS Alumni Organization Board of Directors

Image of three smiling female alumni in Virginia Tech shirts.
Image of Elizabeth Galbreath

President

Elizabeth Galbreath
’17 B.S. Agricultural Sciences

Kansas City, Missouri
Elizabeth.galbreath@agfuture.org

Elizabeth Galbreath is Agriculture Future of America (AFA)’s Program Manager of Student Leaders and is based in Kansas City, MO. She grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Maryland and has been involved with various local, state, and national agricultural organizations and efforts.

She received her B.S. in Agricultural Sciences in May 2017 with an emphasis in Applied Economic Management. As a student at Virginia Tech, she held several leadership roles in student organizations, ranging from serving as a Hokie Camp Student Director and a Student Alumni Associate, to a CALS Ambassador and a mentor to first-year students in SGA’s FLEX program.

Since she became an alumna, she has worked in youth programming, marketing, sales, agricultural education, and leader development. She’s involved in various local 4-H, FFA, and Farm Bureau activities and is a member of the Chairman’s Club of the American Royal and the AFA Alliance. She is currently the President of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization (CALSAO) Board of Directors.

Elizabeth is committed to being a reliable, authentic spokeswoman for the agriculture community and developing young people to reach their full potential.

Image of Scott Stevens

Vice President

Scott Stevens
’92 B.S. Animal Science, Minor Agricultural Economics

Fincastle, Virginia
540-312-9863
agrhokie@aol.com

Scott is currently a loan officer for Farm Credit of the Virginias and is based in the Roanoke and Floyd, Virginia, offices. For more than 25 years, he served as manager of Southern States Roanoke Cooperative-Troutville/Rockingham Cooperative.

He serves on the following boards and committees: Roanoke County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Botetourt County Extension Leadership Council (serving as chairperson for the past four years); Botetourt County Fair Committee; Botetourt County 4-H adult leader; and Botetourt Technical Educational Center Advisory Committee.

Former board activities include terms with the Virginia FFA Foundation Board of Directors, Virginia Forage and Grassland Council Board, and the Botetourt Chamber of Commerce.

Scott is married to Amy Clements Stevens ’93 (ANSC, B.S.), ’94 (AGED, M.S.), who teaches Agri-Science at Read Mountain Middle School and leads a very active FFA program. They are proud parents of three children: Katelyn (ALCE ’20 –teaches Agriculture at James River High School), Kaden (19) sophomore in HNFE, and Genelayce (15), who take an active role on their small family farm in Fincastle.

An active member of the Hokie Club, Scott enjoys traveling to Blacksburg for the fall football games (and as many ACC road trips as time allows), having only missed one home football game in 30 years. In addition, he also enjoys coaching basketball and football in the Botetourt County Parks and Recreation Department.

Image of Rachel Kohl

Past President

Rachel Kohl
’00 B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences, Dairy Science
’02 M.S. Dairy Science

Blacksburg, Virginia
540-449-1134
rhensley@vt.edu

Joining the faculty in 2005, she  teaches most of the animal and dairy sciences classes, the first-year survey class and is coordinator for the internship program. She says that teaching hands-on, science-based, livestock production classes is fun and challenging. What a great combination!

Rachel and her husband, Kasey, have two children, Matthew and Katie. They own a small cow/calf herd and grow hay to both feed their herd and sell to customers for their horses and cattle. Rachel enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

Rachel is excited to remain active on the board and work with such a great team of people!

Image of Normand Adams

Normand Adams
’15 B.S. Applied Economic Management and Environmental Horticulture

Farmville, Virginia

Normand is the Graduate Program Professional Coordinator for the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Before his time with the department, Normand worked as the live roof production manager at Riverbend Nursery in Riner, Virginia.

As a student, Normand held several leadership positions in student organizations and on college committees. He also served as the CALS Ambassador representative to the CALS Alumni Organization Board of Directors.

Originally from Farmville, Virginia, Normand was active in community service as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. He has a passion for horticulture and photography.

Tommy Amal
’14 M.S. Agriculture and Life Sciences

Blacksburg, Virginia
tamal2@vt.edu

Tommy Amal is the Assistant Director of Development for Leadership Gifts at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. Amal has been an part of Virginia Tech since 2013, first as a student then as an employee. Most recently, Amal held a similar role as the Assistant Director of Development for Leadership Gifts with the university central advancement team.

Carlton Courter
Dairy Science ‘79

Midlothian, VA.
thecourters@verizon.net

Carlton grew up on his parent’s dairy farm in Amelia County, Virginia where he tended to the young stock. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Dairy Science and a minor in Ag. Economics. He spent two years as a dairy cooperative fieldman before joining the Virginia Agribusiness Council where he worked for 13 years, the last ten as Executive Director. He was then appointed Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services where he spent over 12½ years serving under four governors. He has served on numerous state and national boards and received numerous recognitions. Carlton currently works at Mercedes-Benz in customer service.

Renée Dupell
’09 B.S. Food Science; minor in nutrition (North Carolina State University)
’11 M.S. Food Science and Technology

Henrico, Virginia
renee.dupell@ukrops.com

Renée is the Senior Regulatory Compliance and Labeling Specialist for Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods in Richmond, Virginia. The role allows her to pursue her passion for food labeling and product development.

Prior to joining Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, Renée worked at DuPont Teijin Films as a Food Scientist and Product Steward Analyst in the convenience packaging area. The opportunity allowed her to work closely with the VT Department of Food Science & Technology.

In her spare time, she enjoys lifting weights and crafting.

Image of Kimberly Foley

Kimberly Foley
‘14 B.S. Crop & Soil Environmental Science
‘17 M.S. Supply Chain Management (Michigan State University)

Kimberly grew up on a cattle farm in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. She is a third generation Hokie. While at Virginia Tech participated in Sigma Alpha, Agronomy Club, and Forestry Club. She also worked with Small Grains Extension and Tobacco Extension groups. After graduation, she began working for F.W. Rickard Seeds, Inc. as a sales representative for tobacco seed. She transitioned to the tobacco Leaf Procurement organization of Altria Client Services LLC in 2018 in a variety of roles supporting university relations, grower projects, stakeholder engagement, and corporate responsibility

Kimberly currently resides in Mechanicsville, VA with her husband Ian (that she met her first weekend at Virginia Tech) and her two boys Thomas & Waverly, that already respond in the proper way to Let’s Go...

Heidi Hertz
’04 B.S. Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Grazing Coordinator, American Farmland Trust

Richmond, VA
Heidi.hertz@healthyyouthva.org

Heidi Hertz serves as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry for Governor Northam. Prior to her appointment, Heidi held roles in the Office of the First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe, with the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, and for the Virginia Department of Health.  She is passionate about making connections between agriculture and health and focuses a lot of her time on strategies linking food production and solutions to hunger.

Heidi enjoys serving as a board member for Shalom Farms with an urban farm in Richmond City and a farm in Powhatan, VA.  She is a native of Lunenburg County and lives in the Northside of Richmond with her family. 

Image of Zach Jacobs

Zach Jacobs
'19 B.S. Agribusiness Management

Swoope, VA

Zach is a Legislative Assistant for a Member of Congress where he handles legislative issues for the Congressman including: Agriculture and Food, Animals, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment, and Transportation and Infrastructure. Before his time on Capitol Hill, Zach worked as a Legislative Analyst in the Office of Congressional Relations at the United States Department of Agriculture.

As a student, Zach held several leadership positions in agricultural and political science student organizations. He also served as a Campus Ambassador and National Student Advisory Team Member for the Agriculture Future of America organization and served as Virginia Tech’s first American Royal Scholar.  

Originally from Swoope, Virginia, Zach did not grow up on a farm, but quickly found his way to the barn. He showed livestock growing up and was an active participant in both 4-H and FFA. Since graduating from Virginia Tech, Zach has also earned his master’s degree in Strategic Communication through Liberty University.

Zach is dedicated to advocating on behalf of the agriculture and food industry through his work as a policy enthusiast and communicator. 

Image of Jessica Jones

Jessica M. Jones
’04 B.S. Secondary Ed, Agriculture,'04 B.A., Interdisciplinary Studies

Gladys, Virginia
(434) 249-1952
jessica.jones@pcs.k12.va.us

Jessica M. Jones is a 2004 honors graduate of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. She began her teaching career in 2004 as the agricultural education/environmental science teacher and FFA advisor in Campbell County, VA.

In 2007,she joined Pittsylvania County Public Schools as the agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Chatham Middle School and currently works in the county at Tunstall High School in the same capacity.

Jones was selected as the 2015 American Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture National Runner-Up, the 2016 NAAE National Agriscience Teacher of the Year, and the 2017 American Farm Bureau Discussion Meet National Runner-Up.

In addition to being a full-time classroom teacher, Jones serves as a Virginia state milk commissioner for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and works as a National AgriScience Ambassador Trainer for DuPont USA, Lab-Aids, Inc., the National Association of Agricultural Educators and the National FFA. She has served as mentor for the Tunstall High First Robotics Competition (FRC) team, president of the Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators, and president of the Virginia Association of Career and Technical Educators. Jones currently serves as president of the Pittsylvania Education Association along with other roles at the state level.

Additionally, Jones earned her doctoral degree in leadership studies from Lynchburg College in May 2016 and remains an active member of Virginia and Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Women’s Committee.

Morgan Slaven Messer
’14 B.S. Agricultural Sciences

Staunton, Virginia

Morgan Slaven grew up on her family’s generational beef cattle operation in Weyers Cave. After a year of service as the 2009-2010 State FFA President, she attended Virginia Tech and graduated in 2014 with a double major in agricultural sciences and communication. Morgan has a passion for agricultural education, leadership development and serving rural community needs. She has put those skills to use as a staff member for the Virginia FFA Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. Morgan's current role is the manager of Public Affairs for Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative.

Lynn Ann Smith
’08 B.S. Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise
’08 B.S. Food Science and Technology
’10 M.S. Life Sciences - Food Science and Technology

Forest, VA

Lynn Ann grew up on her family’s multigenerational farm in Virginia before attending Virginia Tech.  She enjoys cooking, baking, and showing others that healthy eating doesn’t require sacrificing rich and decadent flavors and is possible even with the challenges of having little ones.  She is passionate about nutrition, children learning about farming / where their food comes from, and telling everyone about the amazing & fun Food Science program at Virginia Tech.    

Image of Stefanie Taillon

Stefanie Kitchen Taillon
’11 B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences
’14 M.S. Public Administration

Richmond, VA
stefanie.taillon@vafb.com

Stefanie Kitchen Taillon is Assistant Director of Virginia Farm Bureau Governmental Relations. Prior to this role, she worked as the Commissioner’s Office Director for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. Stefanie previously ran the Certified Farm Seekers Program, a component of the Virginia Farm Link Program, and has worked as a legislative aide in the Virginia General Assembly. She has a B.S. in Animal Science and a Master of Public Administration, both from Virginia Tech, and was a member of Class IV of the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results (VALOR) Program. Stefanie grew up on a row crop farm in Southampton County.

Image of Sarah Jane Thomsen

Sarah Jane Thomsen
’19 M.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences

Richmond, VA
sthomsen@statefairva.org

Sarah Jane serves as the Manager of Ag Education and Strategic Partnerships Programming with the State Fair of Virginia and Meadow Event Park in Doswell, VA where she is excited to tell the ag story and cultivate a passion for agriculture in others. She was raised a forester’s daughter in Southwest Virginia, where she found her voice around the family dinner table with her three older siblings. Growing up close to Blacksburg, Sarah Jane took the opportunity to head south as an Animal and Dairy Science major at the University of Georgia. Sarah Jane took every opportunity to get her hands dirty and found her passion while working at the university dairy, representing the Georgia Beef Board, visiting farms during spring break, studying abroad, and interning with the Virginia Cooperative Extension. After undergrad, she came back home to pursue a Master’s Degree at Virginia Tech in Agronomy with fieldwork at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone. Sarah Jane previously served as the Director of Member Services and Events with the Virginia Agribusiness Council.

CALS Faculty Representative

Image of David Winston

David Winston
’87 B.S. Dairy Science
’98 M.S. Dairy Science

dwinston@vt.edu

Dave grew up on a 100-cow dairy farm in Gladys, Virginia, and now resides in Radford. He serves as an Extension specialist in the Department of Dairy Science at Virginia Tech and coordinates the state 4-H dairy youth program. 

Dave teaches three courses — DASC 2474 (Dairy Science and Industry), DASC 3474 (Dairy Information Systems), and DASC 5004 (Dairy Science Graduate Seminar). He serves as lead advisor for the Dairy Club and co-advisor for Students for Cultivating Change. 

He chairs the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' curriculum committee and is a member of the university's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the CALS Diversity Council.  He also chairs the Southern Regional Dairy Challenge planning committee.

Dave volunteers at Glencoe Mansion, Museum, and Gallery in Radford. Dave is also an active member of Grove United Methodist Church in Radford where he serves on the Ministries Board and is secretary of the Administrative Board.

Student Representatives

CALS Undergraduate Student Representative 
Breanna Lytton
Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise

CALS Graduate Student Representative
Wykle Greene
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

MANRRS Representative
Brooke Johnson
Animal and Poultry Sciences

CALS Ambassador Representative
Gracie Tyus
Horticulture

Image of Dixie Dalton

Dixie Watts Dalton
’86 B.S. Agricultural Economics
’89 M.S. Agricultural Economics

Kenbridge, Virginia
(540) 641-0217
dixie@vt.edu

Dixie is the Agribusiness Concentration Coordinator for the online Master of Agricultural and Life Sciences (OMALS) degree at Virginia Tech and a member of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AAEC) faculty. She began her career in the AAEC department in 1993, serving 17 years in her teaching and extension position. In 2010, she returned home to Lunenburg County to create and provide leadership to an agribusiness program at Southside Virginia Community College where she also served as an academic dean from 2015 to 2021. In August of 2021, she returned to Virginia Tech to provide leadership to the OMALS agribusiness concentration.

She serves as president of the Colonial Agricultural Educational Foundation and is a member of the State Fair of Virginia Youth Development Board and its Scholarship Committee.

Dixie and her husband, Johnny, a cattle farmer and businessman, have two sons, Kyle and Jacob. She enjoys playing competitive softball in tournaments around the country and watching college basketball and football.

Image of Eric Frazier

Eric Frazier
’00 B.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences

Midlothian, Virginia
804-400-3226
efrazier@willowoakscc.org

Eric is the Director of Agronomy at Willow Oaks Country Club located in Richmond, VA, where he oversees all Turfgrass and Horticulture programs for the club.

He has served on the Board of Directors for Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization since 2004, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Leadership Council, Old Dominion Golf Course Superintendents Association, and currently the Virginia Turfgrass Foundation.  During his spare time, he volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, serving as Assistant Scoutmaster for his son’s Scout Troop.

In 2010 Eric was selected as an Outstanding Alumnus from the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences.  He is very involved in the Golf Industry, serving in several capacities supporting the environmental and research efforts of the industry.

After leaving Blacksburg, Eric moved to Richmond where he met his wife Katie, also an alumnus of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Eric, Katie and their son Palmer live in Midlothian.

Image of Ronnie Gill

Ronnie G. Gill
’82 B.S. Agronomy

Tappahannock, Virginia
804-443-6952 or 804-445-3447
rgill@colonialfarmcredit.com

Ronnie has been employed for 37 years with Colonial Farm Credit and currently serves as Chief Lending Officer – Branch Operations. His office is in Mechanicsville, VA.

He currently serves on the Essex County Board of Supervisors.  He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Virginia Grain Producers Association and the Northern Neck Farm Museum.  Ronnie is also a member of the Tappahannock Rotary Club.  Previously, he served as President of the Virginia FFA Foundation and is a past member of the Essex County School Board.

A family of Hokies, his wife, Linda, is an ’82 graduate of Clothing, Textiles, and Related Apparel; their son, Tyler ‘08, holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering; and their daughter, Hannah, is a ’14 graduate with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Pastimes include weekend farming/gardening and attending VT football games.  The Gill’s also enjoy time with their new granddaughter, Anne-Marie.  

Image of Rob Harrison

Rob Harrison
’80 B.S. Dairy Science

Troy, Virginia
434-242-4996
rob@foodsforthoughtinc.com

Rob owns a cow/calf beef operation in central Virginia.  He also owns Foods For Thought Inc., which distributes natural Angus beef.

He currently serves on the Albemarle County Fair Board of Directors and sits on the board of directors for the Albemarle County Farm Bureau and the Charlottesville Southern States Cooperative. Rob also holds membership in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, and the Virginia BCIA, and is assistant treasurer of the Charlottesville Masonic Lodge.

Image of Anne Herring

Anne Herring
’87 B.S. Agricultural Economics

Natural Bridge, Virginia
(540) 460-3365 or (540) 291-2051
hokie@hughes.net or anne.herring@va.usda.gov

Anne is a Community Solutions Specialist on the Partnerships Team of the USDA/Rural Development Innovation Center. She is of the Owner/Innkeeper of Herring Hall Bed and Breakfast.

Anne serves on the boards of the Rockbridge Historical Society, the Mountain Valley Preservation Alliance, and the Friends of Natural Bridge State Park. She is Treasurer/Elder at Falling Spring Presbyterian Church, an Economic Development Committee Member of the Lexington Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce, and a Family Partnership Committee Member for the Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity.

Image of Mike Megeath

Michael A. Megeath
’67 B.S. Agricultural Education
’74 M.A. Education

Waterford, Virginia
(540) 882-3945 or (540) 454-4405
mmegeath@yahoo.com

Mike is retired from Loudoun County Public Schools after working for 35.5 years.  He served as the Principal of Monroe Technology Center for 25.5 years.

Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Loudoun Farm Museum.

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Bob Pitman
’70 B.S. Agricultural Engineering
’72, M.S. Agricultural Engineering

Kilmarnock, Virginia
(804) 435-1965
rpitman@vt.edu

Bob retired in 2018 as the superintendent of the Eastern Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center for Virginia Tech after 30 years of service to the university.

Bob has been married to Helen for 51 years, and they have two children and two grandchildren. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys hunting, reading, and activities with his grandchildren.

Image of Tom Pridgen

Thomas H. Pridgen
’79 B.S. Animal Science
’92 M.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Science

Blacksburg, Virginia
540-633-1817
540-231-3609
tpridgen@vt.edu

Tom is the Facilities offfice manager for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech. He also serves as the chapter advisor to Virginia Tech's Beta Eta Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho Agriculture Fraternity.

Image of Andy Seibel

Andy Seibel
’85 B.S. Secondary Education, Agriculture
’86 M.S.Ed. Vocational-Technical Education
’05 Ed.D. Career and Technical Education

Roanoke, Virginia
gseibel@vt.edu

Andy is an Associate Extension Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension, assigned to the Catawba Sustainability Center.

He serves on the Roanoke County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Virginia Farm Bureau Winegrape Commodity Advisory Board, and is President of the Virginia FFA Alumni Association.

He is married to Megan (’08 CTE, ’12 AEE) and had three children, Tess (17), Claire (16), and Andrew (14), who all love the Hokies!

Image of Timothy VanReenen

Timothy VanReenen
’06 B.S. Agricultural and Applied Economics
’08 M.S. Career and Technical Education, specializing in Agricultural and Extension Education

Hillsboro, West Virginia
304-653-4897     
hillcrestfarm100@gmail.com

Tim is managing partner at Hillcrest Farm, a diversified cattle and row crop operation, where he oversees the farm's daily operations. He is also an independent insurance agent for West Virginia Insurance Company.

Tim serves on the Greenbrier Valley Conservation District and West Virginia Association of Conservation Districts, currently leading the association as its president.

In his spare time, he likes to volunteer for local organizations, hunt, and golf.

  • Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education
    Austin Council, adc@vt.edu
  • Agricultural Technology
    Wesley Gwaltney ’00, ’03, ’05, wgwaltne@vt.edu
  • Food Science and Technology
    Renee Boyer ’02, ’06, rraiden@vt.edu
  • Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise
    Nicolin Girmes-Grieco ’01, ngirmes@vt.edu
  • School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
    Mike Goatley ’88, goatley@vt.edu