Tracy Rutherford has been named head of the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She began her new position on July 1, 2019.

Rutherford has served as associate department head of academic programs in the Texas A&M University Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications for the past three years and as associate department head of undergraduate programs since 2011. During her tenure at Texas A&M, she led highly productive undergraduate and graduate programs composed of more than 1,100 students in four undergraduate majors, six graduate degree programs, and five graduate certificates. 

“I am excited about bringing my experience in the growth of undergraduate and distance graduate programs to the agricultural, leadership, and community education department at Virginia Tech,” Rutherford said. “I believe this department and this university have a vision for student success and community impact that is innovative and will have broad impact.”

Rutherford earned her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University and her master’s and doctorate from Texas A&M University. She served as a professor at her graduate alma mater from 2002 until 2019 and has also held faculty roles at Kansas State and Texas Tech Universities.

She has won numerous awards, including a VIP citation from the National FFA Association, and was named a North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Scholar in 2018. Rutherford is also recognized as a Fellow in the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education. She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for Agricultural Education, the National Communications Association, and the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. She has co-authored more than 55 refereed journal articles and 62 peer-reviewed abstracts.