Virginia Cooperative Extension announced the newest addition to the Roanoke Valley staff. Evan O’Neill will be filling the position of Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources. The Roanoke Extension Agent position represents and addresses the needs of Roanoke and Botetourt Counties and the Cities of Roanoke and Salem.
Danny Peek, Southwest District Director for Virginia Cooperative Extension said, “We are extremely excited to welcome Evan to Virginia Cooperative Extension. Along with his strong work ethic and desire to learn, Evan brings a very unique and diverse education and work experiences that will be beneficial to the citizens of the Roanoke Valley and Virginia Cooperative Extension.”
In his new position, O’Neill is set to meet producers and community members within Roanoke and bring the two together through participating in farm visits, community functions, farmers’ markets, and more. While social distancing and self-quarantines are in effect due to COVID-19, O’Neill is working on innovative ways to reach out to those in the community.
“I am excited to bring my diverse background experiences to work for the local community through Virginia Cooperative Extension,” said O’Neill. “The Roanoke area has a large range of agricultural opportunity and is a great place for anyone to fit into the local foodshed.”
O’Neill grew up in agriculture working various neighborhood farms and went on to manage a small organic farm before attending Virginia Tech for his Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Science. He also possesses a minor in Civic Agriculture and an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science.
O’Neill worked four and a half years as an Agricultural Technician for the Virginia Tech College Farm. This role was predominantly involved in crop production for the Animal and Poultry Science units but often required cross collaboration with other agricultural departments. He then went on to work for a robotics company specializing in sales engineering for agricultural equipment manufacturers. He has also worked as a contract software engineer for an educational software platform.