Va. Tech lauds Joines’ expertise
Chad Joines, director of the Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Center, is the 2022 Employee of the Year in the university’s School of Animal Sciences within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
His role in managing a facility that affects the broad beef cattle industry makes him one of the more unique people in the Virginia beef cattle industry said Dr. David Gerrard, head of the School of Animal Sciences.
“He is really an awesome employee and one of the best cattlemen I know,” Gerrard said of Joines. “He literally works as if everyone of those cows are his, and for the most part, they are. He welcomes them into the world, helps them survive in it and ultimately leads them to their charge, serving humankind. He is a good daddy, an outstanding husband, a good steward of state resources and a great guy. Virginia Tech, the School of Animal Sciences and the commonwealth are fortunate to have such a dedicated employee as Chad Joines.”
Dr. Dan Eversole, a Virginia Tech associate professor, joined Gerrard in lauding the job Joines has done at the center for the past 30 years. He said Joines is involved in all facets of the department’s mission.
“Overall, he cares for more than 600 cattle that form the basis of beef cattle Teaching, Research and Extension within the university,” Eversole said.
Chad took time last week to talk about his work, while working and conducting a tour of the recently renovated Big Barn on Plantation Road here. He worked as he talked, checking on a momma cow and her newborn calf that had experienced a difficult birth, looking about a cow stalled in the barn, asking a helper to see to another heifer and directing operations on the phone.
His team includes Henry Dickerson, a veteran manager with 49 years of service at Virginia Tech, and students who are both working and learning.
Eversole said Joines directly manages the teaching herd of 100 purebred cows. They include four beef breeds, Angus, Hereford, Charolais and Simmental. The research herd has 200 Angus-Simmental based commercial cows. Eversole said Joines is willingly involved with all facets of the department’s mission.
“To sustain the high demand of quality calves for university programs, both a spring and fall calving season is needed, this adds tremendously to Chad’s workload and requires intense management and expertise to understand optimal care, regardless of seasonal weather cycles, Eversole continued.
Joines and Eversole both talked about their work with genetics and the use of artificial insemination with all their cows. Joines said three of the bulls he raises are now used by Select Sires. Eversole said these animals are now used to distribute VT genetics worldwide through frozen semen technology.
Joines is a fourth-generation cattleman who grew up in Ashe County, N.C. where his family raised registered horned Hereford cattle. He said as a kid he got a Charolais show heifer and grew up in 4-H and FFA showing cattle.
He and his wife Carrie, a professional photographer, are the parents of three children, sons Cooper and Cullen, and daughter, Cora. They are all part of the Joines Cattle Company that raises registered Simmental show heifers, bulls to BCIA, and bred heifers. They participate in the North Carolina Fall Harvest State Simmental Sale and the Virginia Beef Expo.
“In addition to the value that Chad has generated within Virginia Tech, he has developed a great reputation in the Virginia beef industry and is synonymous with the Virginia Tech beef program,” Eversole said.
Joines is active in statewide groups having served as president of the Virginia Simmental Association and on the board of the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association. He is highly involved in 4-H and a strong supporter of the Virginia Cattlemen’s Association.