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1979: Joe Hunnings served in Dominican Republic in Sabana de la Mar beginning in 1979
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Joe Hunnings can be contacted at hunningsavtdedu
Country of Service: Dominican Republic
Training Group: Trained in La Guacima, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Cities you served in: Sabana de la Mar
Arrival Year: 1979
Departure Year: 1981
Work Description: Rice Production Extensionist
Bring us up to date on your life after the peace corps:
Joe Hunnings has been an Extension employee since 1984. He began his
career as an agriculture/4H
agent in Warren County, Virginia. His work there focused on many
traditional programming efforts, but also a number of new programs. He
established the first Master Gardener program in the upper Shenandoah
Valley. He also was the co-founder of the official State Mushroom Festival
held in Front Royal. This event was established to promote Virginia's
growing shiitake mushroom industry as well as an economic development
effort for the community. Joe also worked on Gypsy Moth educational
programs, set up the first Extension well water testing program, organized
one of the first state-wide Sustainable Agriculture Conferences and
initiated successful multi-state commercial small fruit educational
programs. In 1989, Joe took educational leave to pursue a Master's degree
in Crop and Soil Environmental Science. Before completing this work he
was re-employed as an Agricultural
Extension Agent in Montgomery County in 1991. Joe's work in Montgomery
revolved around many sustainable agriculture initiatives, including
groundwater education programs, Farm-a-Syst, rotational grazing, IPM
and insect scouting, and nutrient management. He also coordinated a
strong Master Gardener program which annually graduated 40+
volunteers. Sustainable horticulture programs included a yard-waste
management education program, adult and school composting programs,
pruning and fruit tree grafting and a weekly horticulture column in the
Roanoke Times. From December, 1995 till February 2001, Joe served as
the Southwest District Director. His responsibilities included the
supervision of agent faculty, district office support staff and second-line
supervision of unit support staff and technicians. He was responsible for
the hiring and orientation of new agent faculty. He was also responsible for
the fiscal management of the District operating budget and cooperated
with Unit Coordinators to secure local government funding and MOU's. Joe
oversaw the implementation in the district of the agent
specialization/area programming model. He also managed to finish that
MS degree in 1997. On February 2001, Joe began his latest position in VCE
as the Extension Specialist, 4-H Leadership and Citizenship. Joe is a
former Peace Corps volunteer who served in the Dominican Republic and is
fluent in Spanish.
He is married to Kay, a CPA who is the Business Manager at the VT
Corporate Research Center. They have two children, both of whom are
students at VT. He enjoys canoeing, camping, gardening and
Any thoughts you have now looking back on peace corps days?:
A life directing experience. Hardly a week goes by after 20+ years that I
don't recall something about my experience.
Anyone you are looking for or would like to hear from?:
"Talking Tom from Tennessee"
Tom Melville from Boston
Originally posted: December 13, 2001
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