The Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Center was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Seedstock Producer Award by the American-International Charolais Association (AICA).
Agriculture is by far and away Virginia’s largest economic driver, and cattle and calves are the No. 2 commodity in the state with more than $714 million in cash receipts. So it’s been a positive thing for the land-grant school to receive this honor, which was given at the AICA’s annual membership meeting in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Dan Eversole, associate professor of animal and poultry sciences and director of beef cattle programs, received the award on behalf of the university. He teaches several classes and involves students in the husbandry, management, and merchandising of the purebred cattle.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Eversole, who is in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “There is tremendous value of having purebred cattle at land-grant institutions to better serve our clientele through the missions of education, research, and outreach. Charolais cattle, along with our other three purebred breeds, provide our more than 600 undergraduate majors with meaningful, real-life opportunities and situations in an experiential learning environment.”
The Beef Cattle Center’s Charolais herd consists of 40 purebred breeding-age females. Charolais were introduced to the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Center in 1998 through donations and the support of Charolais breeders across the country, led by the late Mary diZerega of Oakdale Farm in Upperville, Virginia. Charolais, a breed of taurine beef cattle from the Charolais area in eastern France, are white colored and are often crossbred with Angus and Hereford cattle.