Mike Gutter Named Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Associate Dean of Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences | VTX

His appointment follows the retirement of Ed Jones, who served as director for nearly a decade and leaves the organization with an increased number of officers statewide, increased funding and a range of new programs that touch on everything from agricultural issues to opioid addiction. .

Gutter said he’s excited to build on that success and help Extension become more present on campus, in Virginia and around the world. He wants to help everyone on the Virginia Tech campus realize the value of extension partnerships to achieve their own goals.

While at the University of Florida, he partnered with the College of Engineering to teach young people about artificial intelligence through the 4-H program. In Virginia, he would like to build on existing Extension partnerships and find ways to develop new ones on campus leveraging STEM, workforce development, and other areas. of interest.

He was drawn to Virginia Tech because of his Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) because his own ethic of service has been imbued in his outreach work.

“Extension is about deepening the concept of service and meeting people where they are to help them improve their lives,” he said. “I want to engage the entire campus to help us fulfill our core motto at Virginia Tech. Cooperative Extension is the land-grant university’s gateway to every county and community in Virginia.

At the University of Florida, he focused on addressing economic disparities and creating interventions for people facing difficult economic situations. He cultivated new and deep partnerships with the healthcare community, with which he helped develop new initiatives such as skin cancer prevention programs and helped secure over $10 million in grants. and donations. He said he looked forward to forging similar new partnerships in Virginia to help expand the reach of the programs and find new, innovative ways to fund them.

Beyond Extension’s appeal, Gutter said he was drawn to Virginia’s mountains and Virginia’s four seasons — both of which are a big change from Florida. He said that when he wasn’t cheering on the Hokies from the stands or playing acoustic guitar, he and his wife, Jessica, enjoyed hiking in the mountains with their 14-year-old daughter and spending time with their rescue cat and dog, Miss Kitty and Chloe. They also have a 19-year-old son who is staying in Florida for college.

“We are so excited to be part of the Hokie Nation and to help Virginia Cooperative Extension continue to make a difference in Commonwealth communities,” he said.

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