Mark Reiter was named director of the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, effective July 1, 2020.

Reiter, who also serves as an associate professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Resources, has an extensive background in the soil and nutrient management areas on the agronomically important and environmentally sensitive Eastern Shore of Virginia.

“It’s exciting to have this opportunity. The Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center is an integral part of both Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve in a leadership position in this organization,” Reiter said. “I’m looking forward to innovative ways in which we address the challenges of the present and future.”

Reiter earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas in crop, soil, and environmental sciences, a Master of Science in agronomy from Auburn University, and his Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech in crop and soil sciences.

Reiter is also the 2020 recipient of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Diversity and Inclusion Service Award for going above and beyond in his dedication to his community, the station, and both national and international levels for diversification of faculty, staff, and students. Reiter also conducts Extension efforts that serve numerous underserved communities, involvement in outreach and teaching with study abroad programs in South Africa, while supporting local underserved schools and rural development in agricultural communities.

The Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center specializes in a variety of areas, including soils and nutrient management, weed management technologies, entomology, foodborne illness research and prevention, vegetable disease epidemiology, and innovative horticultural technologies to improve vegetable production. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the center continues to be open and serve its clientele while following all COVID-19 guidelines.

Reiter will continue to serve as an associate professor in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and as the commonwealth’s soil and nutrient management Extension specialist for vegetable, grain, and oilseed crops focused on the Coastal Plain region of Virginia at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

— Written by Max Esterhuizen