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Loy Van Crowder

Professor
175 West Campus Dr.
MC 0343
268 Litton-Reaves
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dr. Crowder joined the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education (ALCE) as a fulltime professor in August, 2021.  Prior to this, he was the executive director for Virginia Tech’s Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED).  In this capacity, he developed and managed university-implemented, donor-funded projects and activities in Senegal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Armenia, Afghanistan, Guatemala, and Honduras with a range of development cooperation partners - government ministries, non-governmental organizations, commercial firms, universities, and research institutions.

During his career, Van Crowder has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Bolivia as an agricultural technology generation and transfer specialist. He was Associate Director, International Programs in Agriculture, at the University of Florida and a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Communication and Education.  He worked in Jamaica for the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) managing a USAID-funded hillside agriculture project.  At the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) he held the position of Senior Officer, Rural Extension Systems & Development Communications, located at FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy.  Through the FAO Investment Center, he worked for the World Bank in Uganda and Mozambique reforming the public extension systems.  He was the FAO Representative in Nicaragua from 2002-2007 where the focus was on improving small-farm agricultural productivity and household food security.  Before joining Virginia Tech in 2015, he was a Senior Director at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (State Department) where he managed the $400 million portfolio of education, health, and community development projects.  

Ph.D., Adult, Extension, and Continuing Education, 1990
Cornell University,  Department of Education, Ithaca, NY,  

Master of Professional Studies, 1976
Cornell University, Department of Communication, Ithaca, NY

B.S. Agriculture, 1974
Cornell University, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Ithaca, NY

As with my career, my research has been largely international and focused on the areas of human and institutional capacity development (HICD), agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS), and communication for development and social change (CDSC).  Specifically, the focus has been on agricultural higher education, technical and vocational education, rural extension/advisory systems (public and private), and the role and use of communication strategies, methods, and tools in social and behavioral change.  My current research interests include CDSC, in particular its application to agricultural/rural development and to mitigating the impacts of environment degradation and climate change; linkages among agricultural research and extension systems in North America, Canada, and Mexico; agricultural sector recovery in conflict- and shock-prone countries through strengthened agricultural education and extension systems; youth, workforce development, and technical and vocational education and development (TVET); and community driven development (CDD) through strengthened capacity of communities to participate in and lead their own development.  

L. Van Crowder et al. Focused Sondeos to Assess Farmers' Technology Evaluation Criteria in Nicaragua. Association for Farming Systems Research and Extension (AFSRE) Symposium, Michigan State University, Oct. 5-10, 1990.

L. Van Crowder, E. French and C. Parera. A Farming Systems Research and Extension Approach to Working with Cooperatives in Nicaragua. AFSRE Symposium, Michigan State University, Oct. 5-10, 1990.

L. Van Crowder. Extension for Profit: Agents and Sharecropping in the Highlands of Ecuador. Human Organization, The Journal of Applied Anthropology, Vo1. 50. No. I, 1991.

L. Van Crowder and W. Fielding. The Social Dynamics of On-Farm Adaptive Research. Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) FSR/E Project, Kingston, Jamaica, December 1993.

L. Van Crowder. The Role of Rural Education in Sustainable Development with Special Reference to Near Eastern Countries. Technical paper presented at the FAO Synthesis Workshop on Promoting the Role of Universities in National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of Selected Near East Countries, Rabat Morocco, 1994.

Fielding, W.J. & L. Van Crowder. Sweet Potato Weevils in Jamaica: Acceptable Pests? Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Vol. 5(4), 1995.

L. Van Crowder. Participatory Curriculum Development: A "New" Approach for Improving Education and Training. Lead technical paper presented at the FAO Regional Seminar on Curriculum Development, Valetta, Malta, 1995.

T. Kumuk and L. Van Crowder. Harmonizing T&V Extension: Some Experiences from Turkey. Journal of Extension Systems, Vol. 12, December 1996.

L. Van Crowder. Editor, Training for Agriculture and Rural Development (TARD), FAO Economic and Social Development Series, No. 54, Rome, 1996; author Environmental and Sustainable Development Themes in Agricultural Extension Programs: A Review of FAO Case Studies, TARD 1996. Page 10 of 11

L. Van Crowder. A Sequel to the Debate. Review and comment on "Indigenous and Scientific Knowledge: Some Critical Comments" (by A. Agrawal). Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor, Vol. 4, Issue 2, 1996.

L. Van Crowder and J. Anderson. Linking Research, Extension and Education: why is the problem so persistent and pervasive? European Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, Vol. 3, No. 4, 1997.

L. Van Crowder. Marketing Information Systems for Small-Scale Farmers. Information Development, Vol. 13, No. 4, December 1997.

L. Van Crowder. Editor, Training for Agriculture and Rural Development. FAO Economic and Social Development Series. No. 55, Rome, 1998.

L. Van Crowder, W. J. Lindley, T. H. Bruening & N. Daron. Education for Sustainable Rural Development: Challenges for Developing Countries in the 21st Century. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1998.

L. Van Crowder. Women in Higher Agricultural Education and Employment Opportunities. In Graduate Prospects in a Changing Society (A. Ronning and M. Kearney, Eds), UNESCO Publishing, Paris, 1998.

L. Van Crowder et al. Knowledge and Information for Food Security in Africa: From Traditional Media to the Internet. In Telecoms in Africa -- Tam Tam to Internet (T. RasWork, Ed), Betam Communications/Mafube Publishing, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1998.

J. Anderson, J. Clement and L. Van Crowder. Accommodating Conflicting Interests in Forestry: Concepts Emerging from Pluralism. In Unasylva, International Journal of Forestry and Forest Industries, Vol. 49, No. 194, 1998. (Republished in Unasylva, Vol. 58, Sixty years of Unasylva - Weaving knowledge into development, 2007).

Jon Anderson, L. Van Crowder, et al. Applying the Lessons of Participatory Communication and Training to Rural Telecentres. In The First Mile of Connectivity: Advancing Telecommunications for Rural Development through a Participatory Communication Approach (D. Richardson and L. Paisley, Eds), FAO, Rome, 1999.

A. Weiss, L. Van Crowder and M. Bernardi. Communicating Agrometeorological Information to Farming Communities. Paper presented at the International Workshop on Agrometeorology in the 21st Century-- Needs and Perspectives, Feb. 1999, Accra, Ghana. Also published in World Meteorological Organization Bulletin, Vol. 48, No. 4, October 1999.

Jon Anderson and L. Van Crowder. The Present and Future of Public Sector Extension in Africa: Contracting-out or Contracting-in? Public Administration and Development, 20, 2000.  

L. Van Crowder and J. Anderson. Contrasting Approaches for Extension Services in Mozambique. In Agricultural Extension Systems: An International Perspective (F. L. Brewer, Ed), Erudition Books, 200l.

W. Rivera, M. K. Qamar and L. Van Crowder. Agricultural and Rural Extension Worldwide: Options for Institutional Reform. FAO-Rome, Extension, Education and Communication Service (SDRE), 2001.

L. Van Crowder and S. Michiels. Discovering the Magic Box: Local Appropriation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Communication for Development Group Publication, FAO-Rome, 2001.

L. Van Crowder and J. Anderson. Uganda: Private Sector Secondment of Government Extension Agents. In Contracting for Agricultural Extension: International Case Studies and Emerging Practices (W. Rivera & W. Zijp, Eds), CABI Publishing, 2002.

Ramiro Ortiz and L. Van Crowder. Evolucion de los Servicios de Extension en Nicaragua, FAO-Nicaragua, 2006 (final publication FAO-Rome, 2009).

L. Van Crowder, R. Johanson, M. Shafiq. Tertiary Education in Developing Countries - Issues and Challenges. MCC Policy Paper, January 2011.

L. Van Crowder, et al. Human and Social Capital - Contributions to Economic Growth and Development. Paper prepared for the MCC Human and Community Development Practice Group Learning Event, Washington, DC, June 3-6, 2013.

L. Van Crowder, et al. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Key Nexus for Corporate Partnership. Knowledge & Innovation Network (KIN), Journal of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Technical Staff, Washington, DC, 2015.