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Virginia Vineyards Association Names Jeanette Smith 2011 Grower of the Year

Date: 02/03/12

Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore presented Jeanette Smith with the 2012 Grower of the Year award at the Vineyard Vineyards Association's Annual Technical Meeting and Trade Show at the Omni in Charlottesville.

"This year’s nominee exceeds the Grower of the Year requirements, and then some. She is an invaluable resource to growers throughout Virginia and up and down the East Coast, and I am honored to present her with this award," said Sec. Haymore.

Smith began working in Virginia vineyards in 1981, while studying horticulture at Virginia Tech. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1983. She since has been involved in planting, management and maintenance of vineyards in New York, North Carolina but primarily in Virginia. Her viticulture experience has run the gamut from vineyard laborer, manager, agricultural extension agent, consultant and sales agent for a major east coast agricultural chemical company. She has been education and research committee chair for the Virginia Vineyards Association as well as a member of the Virginia Wine Advisory Board.

"Jeanette is to be commended for the way she reaches out to our membership and shares her wealth of knowledge. She has been a tremendous supporter of the Virginia Viticulture Association members, and I, for one, would be at a loss without her Herbicide, Fungicide and Insecticide guide. Jeanette is an absolutely super person and I am sure that everyone will agree that this award is well deserved," said Bill Tonkins, president, Virginia Vineyards Association.

Many growers in Virginia and throughout the East Coast and beyond may know her best as the brains behind VineSmith Vineyard Services. Each year she publishes and sells her Vineyard Pest Management Tool Kit which gives growers updated, at your finger tips, information regarding the latest in fungicide, insecticide and herbicide chemical information. There are probably very few vineyards in Virginia, and the East Coast, where you can’t find this invaluable management tool tacked to the wall of the vineyard manager’s office.

Smith, who lives in ShenandoahCounty, operates her own vineyard; runs VineSmith incorporated, and still finds time to consult for a number of vineyards throughout the state. She can often be found out in the vines with her trusty companion and completely spoiled beagle, Libby.

Since 2005 The Virginia Vineyards Association has been pleased to honor one of its peers with The Grower of The Year Award. The criteria are: the nominee must be an active member of the Virginia Vineyards Association with at least seven years experience managing or operating a commercial vineyard of at least 5 acres. The nominee must be an active participant in the Virginia viticulture community with a track record of service to our industry. And last but not least, the nominee must have the respect of his or her peers.

The Virginia Vineyards Association, incorporated in March 1983, originated in 1979/80 as a joint effort for information exchange and cooperation among viticulturists, wineries, and VPI & SU. Visit

Region: Virginia
Job Function: Vineyard Management/Viticulture

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