Dixie Watts Dalton, Rachel Kohl, and Elizabeth Galbreath: CALSAO tailgate 2018
CALSAO Executive Committee (from left): Dixie Watts Dalton '86, '89; Rachel Kohl '00, '02; and Elizabeth Galbreath '17


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

Blacksburg, Virginia

Rachel is a senior instructor and advisor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences' Agricultural Technology Program.

Joining the faculty in 2005, she  teaches most of the animal and dairy sciences classes and 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, two horses, three dogs, and two fish! Rachel enjoys cooking and spending time with her family.

A department representative for several years, Rachel is excited to serve in this new position with an awesome group of alumni.

Vice President

Elizabeth Galbreath
’17 B.S. Agricultural Sciences

Richmond, Virginia

Elizabeth Galbreath is in the Agricultural Sales and Marketing Professional Development Program at BASF in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. She grew up on a small dairy farm in northern Maryland and was involved with the Maryland 4-H program for more than 14 years.

As a student at Virginia Tech, Elizabeth held several leadership roles in student organizations, serving as a Hokie Camp student director, a Student Alumni Associate, a CALS Ambassador, and a mentor to first-year students in SGA’s FLEX program.

Elizabeth is committed to bringing consumers and producers together through shared values and to being a reliable, authentic spokeswoman for the agriculture community.

Past President

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

Kenbridge, Virginia

Dixie is the dean of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business at Southside Virginia Community College, where she also serves as the director of the agribusiness program, which she helped initiate in 2010. At Virginia Tech, she served as assistant professor and associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics from 1993 to 2010.

In her current role, Dixie takes particular pride in assisting students in their successful transfer from SVCC to Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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 softball, coon hunting, and watching college basketball and football.

Tommy Amal

’14 M.S. Agriculture and Life Sciences

Blacksburg, Virginia

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.

Community service is important to Amal, who is a member of the Christiansburg-Blacksburg Rotary Club, trustee of the ACPA Foundation Board and co-chairman of Virginia Tech Black Alumni Reunion.

Amal began his career as a student advocacy coordinator in the office of the dean of students. At the nexus of student advocacy, support and diversity and inclusion, he holds a deep understanding of the tools and resources needed to help Virginia Tech students gain the competitive advantage to reach success. 

Amal received his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Leadership Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He received his master’s degree in Agriculture, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. He’s previously served CALS as a Vice Chair of the Diversity Council and as Co- Advisor of MANRRS.

Jessica M. Jones

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

Gladys, Virginia
(434) 249-1952

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, and serves as president of the Pittsylvania Education Association, president of the Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators, and president of the Virginia Association of Career and Technical Educators. 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

’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.

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.

Chris Atkins
’11 A.Ag. Agricultural Technology
Richmond, Virginia

Melinda Cep
’05 B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences
’09 D.V.M, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine

Washington, D.C.

Melinda currently serves as senior policy advisor to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack. Before that, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Congressional Relations and worked for the Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs. She also worked for the Deputy Secretary of the department, coordinating implementation of the 2014 farm bill. Before her time with the department, Melinda worked for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for four years, handling health and agriculture authorizing and appropriations issues. She is originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Elizabeth Copeland
’00 B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences
’10 M.S. Regulatory Affairs (San Diego State University)

Walkerton, Virginia

Elizabeth is a Manager in Regulatory Affairs for Altria Client Services Inc., a subsidiary of Altria Group, Inc. (“Altria”), located in Richmond, VA.  She provides regulatory product strategy services to Altria and its operating companies. 

Prior to joining Altria, Elizabeth worked at Covance Laboratories Inc. (“Covance”) managing nonclinical safety and toxicological drug development programs.  While at Covance, she was the recipient of the Covance Way Award, the highest individual award offered by the company.

Elizabeth received a B.S. in animal and poultry sciences from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in regulatory affairs from San Diego State University.  Elizabeth is dedicated to community service and helping others.  She served on the Virginia Tech Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Council and has remained active in the CALS community — currently serving on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization board and attended the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association as a board volunteer.

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

Henrico, Virginia

Renée is the regulatory compliance and labeling specialist for Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods in Richmond, Virginia.

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.

Jacob Gilley
’09 B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences
’10 M.S.Ed. Career and Technical Education

Orange, Virginia

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

Richmond, VA

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. 

Nancy Meacham
’83 B.S. Agricultural Science
’87 M.S. Animal Genetics

Blacksburg, Virginia

Nancy is project director for the Office of the Vice President of Finance and CFO at Virginia Tech.

Nancy received a B.S. in animal science and an M.S. in animal genetics from Virginia Tech. Following graduate school, she worked as a program director at Agrimetrics Associates, a production benchmarking company for the poultry and swine industries, where she created and implemented new programs and reports for the executives of client companies. Prior to her current role at Virginia Tech, Nancy worked with the presidential search, the Government Relations office, and as a special projects assistant in the president’s office.

Nancy and her husband, Vernon, also a Virginia Tech CALS graduate, have two sons: Dillon (B.M.A. ’14, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University; M.M.A. ’16, The Juilliard School; M.M. ’18, Yale University) and Duncan (BS ’17, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech).

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

Blacksburg, Virginia

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.

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

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

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.

CALS Faculty Representative

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


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.

In his spare time, Dave volunteers at Glencoe Mansion, Museum, and Gallery and on the Radford Beautification and Municipal Forest Commission.

CALS Ambassador Representative
Matthew Owens
Agricultural and Applied Economics

CALS Undergraduate Student Representative
Lexi Rector
Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise

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

MANRRS Representative


Rob Harrison
’80 B.S. Dairy Science

Troy, Virginia

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.

Ryan Nelson Burnette
’99 B.S.
’04 Ph.D. Biochemistry

Richmond, Virginia

Ryan is the Director of International Biosafety & Biosecurity Programs at AT-RISK International, LLC. AT-RISK provides security and investigation, consulting and assessments for private, industrial and government clients in the U.S. and around the world.  Ryan has led biorisk management projects in the U.S. and over a dozen countries, supporting academia, industry and government organizations combat epidemics, and conducting safe research surrounding infectious disease.  He recently published Biosecurity: Understanding, Assessing and Preventing the Threat, a book now available through John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

He is a member of the board of trustees for the Baltimore Museum of Industry and the Biosciences subcommittee of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

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

Midlothian, Virginia

Eric Frazier 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.

Eric has served on the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni Organization Board of Directors since 2004, Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Leadership Council, and the Old Dominion Golf Course Superintendents Association Board of Directors.

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 efforts of the industry.

Eric grew up in Carroll County and received his B.S. degree from Virginia Tech in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, focusing in Turfgrass Management. Eric, his wife Katie, also an alumnus of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and their son Palmer live in Midlothian.

Ronnie G. Gill
’82 B.S. Agronomy

Tappahannock, Virginia
804-443-6952 or 804-445-3447

Ronnie has been employed for 29 years with Colonial Farm Credit and currently serves as Executive Vice President, Branch and Country Mortgage Unit Operations. His office is in Mechanicsville, VA.

He serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Grain Producers Association and the Northern Neck Farm Museum.  Ronnie is a member of the Tappahannock Rotary Club and the Essex County Little LEague Board of Directors (past President of 15 years).  Previously, he served as President of the Virginia FFA Foundation and Chairman of the Essex School Board of which he has been a member for 13 years.

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. The Gill’s enjoy weekend farming and gardening, attending VT football games, and helping with youth sports.

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.

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

Waterford, Virginia
(540) 882-3945 or (540) 454-4405

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.

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

Kilmarnock, Virginia
(804) 333-3485

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 49 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.

Andy Seibel

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

Roanoke, Virginia

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!

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

Fincastle, Virginia

Scott is currently a loan officer for Farm Credit of the Virginias and is based in the Roanoke, Virginia, office. 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: 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 (20, now a senior at Virginia Tech), Kaden (16), and Genelayce (12), 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.