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Coalition Partner Receives Award from American Forage and Grassland Council

Robert Shoemaker is a member of the Steering Committee of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition. Congratulations, Robert!

Robert Shoemaker, Virginia Department of Conservation Nutrient Management Specialist, was awarded the Distinguished Grasslander Award by the American Forage and Grassland Council at the 2022 AFGC Annual Conference in Wichita, Kansas.

The Distinguished Grasslander Award is presented to individuals who have served the forage and grassland segment of agriculture with distinction. Recipients have spent a career working with forages and must be at least 55 years of age. Past recipients include well-respected Forage Agronomists Dr. Viven Allen, Dr. Joe Bouton, Dr. Ed Rayburn, Dr. Garry Lacefield and Dr. Don Ball and David Fiske.

He is also a past recipient of the AFGC Merit Award that is presented to individuals who have made superior contributions in some phase of forage and grassland agriculture. Recipients have earned recognition among their colleagues for work and productivity in forage or grassland agriculture in research, teaching, Extension, production, or industrial development.

Robert has served in several leadership roles including President and Board member of both the American Forage and Grassland Council and the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council. He currently serves as a committee chair of the May 2023 International Grassland Congress (IGC) that will take place in Kentucky and the Board of Directors of the National Grazing Lands Coalition. His work with DCR further focuses on Soil Health and represents DCR on the Virginia Soil Health Coalition. He has also collaborated with Dr. Alan Franzluebbers of USDA-ARS to better understand the link between nitrogen mineralization in soils, Soil Health practices and optimization of nitrogen fertilizer rates in both forages and grain production.

About AFGC: The American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) is an international organization made up of 22 affiliate councils in the United States with over 2500 individual memberships. Our primary objective is to promote the profitable production and sustainable utilization of quality forage and grasslands. Go to to learn more about participation in American Forage and Grassland Council and its affiliate councils.

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