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2002 Virginia BCIA Superior Service Award Presented to Bill McKinnon

Livestock Update, May 2002

Scott Greiner, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

The 2002 VA BCIA Superior Service Award was presented to Bill McKinnon. Bill currently serves as Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist and Extension Project Leader in the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences at Virginia Tech. Bill joined Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) in 1975, after completion of his B.S. and M.S. degrees in agriculture at VPI. Bill served as an Extension 4-H Agent, Agriculture Agent, and Farm Business Management Agent for VCE from 1975-1989 before taking his current position on campus in 1989.

Bill has been a strong supporter of Virginia BCIA and its mission over the years. He has provided valuable assistance in the data collection process and evaluation of bulls at the test stations, and has frequently served on grading committees. Bill's hands-on approach to working with cattle producers has had a very positive influence regarding the adaptation of performance records and fostering of genetic improvement. Bill has conducted numerous educational programs emphasizing the value of genetics, particularly as it relates to the production of quality feeder cattle.

Bill was instrumental in the formation of the Virginia Quality Assured Feeder Cattle program, which verifies health, management, and genetics for Virginia feeder cattle. Additionally, Bill initiated the Virginia Retained Ownership Program. This program has created the opportunity for many Virginia producers to receive valuable post-weaning performance information as well as carcass data on their calf crops. The program has also been a valuable educational tool to provide exposure to the feedyard and packing segments of the beef industry. Recently, Bill was instrumental in the development of the Virginia Cow Herd Performance Check-Up publication. This publication serves as a blueprint for cow-calf producers to compile herd performance and economic measurements to be used in the evaluation of the cow herd and decision support for changes in management. Through coordination and involvement with these programs and many others, Bill has worked with producers to improve the production, marketing, and genetics of beef cattle in the state. With Billšs leadership, producers have aligned and become active in several cooperative ventures, thus creating new marketing opportunities.

Bill has been recognized for his extension efforts by receiving the Epsilon Sigma Phi Outstanding Extension Award in 1986 and the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents in 1996. Bill also serves as a member of the NCBA Cattle Health and Well Being Committee, and is Superintendent of the National 4-H Livestock Skillathon Contest held annually at the North American International Livestock Exposition.

Bill, along with his wife Dot and daughters Lori and Kelly spend their spare time with Double M Livestock, their family beef and sheep operation in Montgomery County.

The Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association is pleased to present the 2002 Superior Service Award to Bill McKinnon.

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