Dr. Julie Smith, Extension Associate Professor in the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS), was named the 39th Annual John Finley Award recipient at the Vermont Farm Show.  This prestigious award recognizes an individual that has made exceptional contributions to agriculture and the working landscape through education, research, policy, and community development.

Dr. Smith has earned a national reputation as a pioneer in biosecurity and livestock health.   She is currently Principle Investigator on a $7.4 million biosecurity grant, the largest grant in the history of the UVM College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

In addition to her outstanding work in the CALS Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, she is also the founding member of the Extension Agrosecurity Committee.  Dr. Smith has brought federally recognized trainings in the areas of food and agriculture security to Vermont.  As an educator, she is loved and respected by her students, and provides support and advice as they prepare for a career in agriculture.

Her deep commitment to the agricultural industry is evident far beyond the laboratory.  She has worked with Agri-Mark Cooperative, the Vermont Farm Bureau, and the VT Agency of Agriculture, as well as serving on multiple committees.  She has also served as President of the Vermont Dairy Industry Association for several years.

“It’s gratifying to see Julie’s life-long commitment to agricultural education and engagement in the state and beyond honored by the Vermont agricultural community with this award.  The faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences at UVM are very proud of her and all that she represents to our program,” says David Townson, Professor and Chair of the UVM Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department.

The award is given annually at the Vermont Farm Show in January.   John Finley was a UVM graduate, an educator at VTC and Vergennes High School, and served as Vermont Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture at the time of his untimely death in 1975.


Kate Finley Woodruff