NRCS agronomist Daniel receives major state conservation award

Published 1:24 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lunenburg County native J.B. Daniel recently received the Virginia Forage and Grassland Council’s (VFGC) Harlan White Distinguished Service Award for exceptional service to Virginia graziers and forage industry.

“Dr. White assisted in the founding of our state forage council, so it’s their pinnacle honor,” said Daniel, who is based in the USDA Service Center in Farmville. “The council is also very selective in presenting the award. It isn’t given every year … only when they feel someone is deserving.”

“J.B. exemplifies the spirit and passion for education and forages characterized by Dr. Harlan White for whom the award was named,” said Jim Tate of Hanover, the current VFGC president. “He is a knowledgeable practitioner, a talented educator, a motivator, and an organized leader.”

Daniel was recognized for work done over his 10-year tenure as the state Forage and Grassland Agronomist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech and worked as an extension agent until 2008, when he replaced Glenn Johnson in his current position.

Daniels projects cited by the VFGC include the four summer field days and pasture walks he coordinates every year; the development of grazing planning calendars distributed every year to about 3,500 Virginia graziers; and the institution of yearly grazing schools for producers new to grazing.

Daniel also serves as a nonvoting member of the VFGC’s board of directors and writes frequently for the association’s newsletter, The Virginia Forager.

Daniel lives with his wife and three children in Amelia County. In 2016, he received the American Forage and Grassland Council’s award as the national Pastureland Conservationist of the Year.