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Virginia Cooperative Extension - Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Dr. Gerald M. Jones and Mr. Jerry M. Swisher to retire July 1

Dairy Pipeline: July 2002

Charles C. Stallings
Extension Dairy Scientist, Nutrition
(540) 231-4758

Dr. Jerry Jones will retire from the Dairy Science Department having served as Professor, Dairy Extension Project Leader, Extension Dairy Scientist, Director of Forage Testing, and Associate Director of Cooperative Extension. A native of New York, Jerry grew up on a dairy farm and attended Cornell University, graduating in 1962. He then attended the University of Maine and Pennsylvania State University. He then became a faculty member at Macdonald College of McGill University in Canada. He came to Virginia Tech in 1974 and was in the Department of Dairy Science for all except six years during which he was administrator for Virginia Cooperative Extension. Jerry developed a highly effective Extension program in managed milking and mastitis control. Recently he has expanded his program to include food safety and dairy environmental stewardship. He was instrumental in getting established Area Dairy Agent positions and the idea of area programming has been adopted across Virginia Cooperative Extension with dairy being the prototype. Jerry has won the West Agro Award for Mastitis Research from the American Dairy Science Association, the Award for Extension Excellence from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association, the Outstanding Extension Faculty Award from Gamma Sigma Delta, and the Quality Milk Management Award from the National Mastitis Council. Jerry has been a very visible and prolific faculty member supporting the Virginia dairy industry. He will truly be missed but will continue limited activities with ongoing projects.

Mr. Jerry M. Swisher, Jr. to retire July 1. Mr. Jerry Swisher will retire from Virginia Cooperative Extension where he has served throughout his career. At retirement Jerry was Senior Extension Agent, the highest ranking for Extension agents, headquartered in Augusta County and is one of six Area Dairy Agents located in Virginia. He was the first dairy agent in Virginia and participated in the development of the area-programming concept currently the model in Virginia. A native of Fairfield in Rockbridge County he attended Virginia Tech graduating in 1972 in Animal Science. He then became Extension Agent, 4-H in Madison County. He returned to Virginia Tech in Dairy Science and received his M. S. degree under Dr. Mike McGilliard in 1981. Jerry served in many capacities in support of the Virginia dairy industry. He worked with preparing the 4-H Dairy Judging Teams taking them to the national contest where they were first in 1994. Jerry developed the concept of the Dairy Loafing Lot Rotational Management System and was recognized with the USDA Certificate of Appreciation Award in 1995. Also he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in that year. In 1996, Jerry received the Extension Excellence Award from the Virginia Tech Alumni Association. Jerry organized and conducted the first Mid-Atlantic Dairy Grazing Field Day that has been conducted regularly since 1995. This year it is being conducted in Hickory, NC. Jerry participated in a tour of grazing practices in Ireland and intends to spend 40 days in New Zealand and Australia this fall learning more about the concept. Probably the strongest aspect of what Jerry has supplied to the Virginia dairy industry is his commitment to people. We all wish Jerry well but know he will be found somewhere around Fairfield putting up hay or feeding cows in his spare time.

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