Virginia Tech's rank for agricultural research spending jumped three places to No. 11 in 2005, up from No. 14 in 2004 in the National Science Foundation's (NSF) recently released nationwide ranking of programs.

“We are very proud of our faculty, students, and staff who continue to strive for research excellence,” said Sharron Quisenberry, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This ranking is truly a shared honor reflecting their dedication and hard work."

The NSF reported agricultural research and development dollars expended at Virginia Tech in 2005 at more than $68 million, an increase of more than $3.8 million over the 2004 figure.

“Our college is committed to providing the very best basic and applied research to the stakeholders and citizens of the commonwealth,” commented Craig Nessler, associate dean for Research and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. “Quality research is expensive,” Nessler said, “and we are all looking for creative ways to support our programs.”

While Virginia Tech’s expenditures increased in 2005, agricultural research and development expenditures among the top 100 institutions decreased 1.4 percent overall. Expenditures for the top 10 universities increased by less than 1 percent with four universities in the top 10 seeing an average decrease of 5 percent.

The NSF defines agricultural science to include such disciplines as agricultural production, aquaculture, soil science, animal science, plant science, agronomy, forestry, fish and wildlife, international agriculture, and much more.

Virginia Tech’s agricultural research and development program accounted for more than 23 percent of the research spending at the university in 2005. With more than $289.9 million in research expenditures, Virginia Tech has the largest research program among Virginia universities.

The institutions ahead of Virginia Tech in the NSF rankings are the University of Florida; University of California, Davis; Purdue University; University of Georgia; Michigan State University; Cornell University; Mississippi State University; Texas A & M University; Penn State; and University of California, Berkeley.

e-mail: lgreiner@vt.edu