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A. Ozzie Abaye

Ozzie Abaye
185 Ag Quad Lane
245 Smyth Hall
Blacksburg, VA, 24061


I have a two-way appointment in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences covering 75% teaching and 30% global outreach. For over 18 years, I have been involved in intentional research and development work, mainly in West Africa. In the last 8 years, I have fully applied my ability and strength to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers to combat hunger and poverty. I currently teach five courses including a study abroad winter program and coaches the crops judging team within the School.


  • Plant Production Systems
  • International Research and Development (new crops and forages)


  • Ph.D. Agronomy, Virginia Tech, 1992
  • M.S. Animal and Dairy Science, Penn State University, 1986  
  • B.A. Biological Science, Wilson College, 1984

Through the course of 8 years, we initiated and implemented several outreach activities to link farmers in Senegal with research and academic institutions. The programs were led by USAID/ERA in collaboration with several key partner institutions (ISRA, ENSA, ISFAR, and ANCAR). The objectives of the activities were to:

  1. Develop linkages between research and outreach activities 
  2. Create interaction with farmers through hands-on outreach services
  3. Illustrate the use of on-farm demonstrations for outreach and extension purposes
  4. Address production and management issues related to the newly introduced mung bean and
  5. Provide technical training to mitigate the lack of feed resources during the long dry period. 

Outreach and capacity building were woven throughout the projects.  Currently involved in Food for Education Program through Counterpart International in Senegal. Two objectives of the work:

  1. To strengthen Farmer Groups’ ability to provide high quality, nutritious commodities and connect them to school feeding programs. 
  2. Improve nutrition of students by increasing access to and use of various, quality, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods in school meals.
  • CSES 2244: Agriculture, Global Food Security and Health
  • CSES 2434: Crop Evaluation
  • CSES/ALS 3954: Study Abroad South Africa: A focus on Food Security, wildlife and Conservation (With Dr. Mark Reiter) – Winter program
  • CSES 3444: World Crops and Cropping Systems (plus 3 food labs)
  • CSES 4544: Forage Crop Ecology

Professor | 2010-Present
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Associate Professor | 1998-2010
Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Assistant Professor | 1993-1998
Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

  • Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2023
  • Alumni Award for Excellence in International Outreach, 2017
  • ASA (American Society of Agronomy) - Presidential Award - presented to all Women Farmers, represented today by Ozzie Abaye, a professor at Virginia Tech University, and Fatou Gueye and Bineta Guisse, from USAID in Senegal. 2017
  • American Forage and Grassland Council – Vivien Allen Illumination Award, 2017
  • Outstanding Alumina in International Programs award - CALS, 2016
  • Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society of Agriculture – Teaching award, 2013
  • Educational Material Award under book category: American Society of    Agronomy/Crop Science Society of America/Soil Science Society of America, 2012
  • Mentor Award: Agronomy/Crop Science/Soil Science Society of America Committee on Women in Agronomy, Crops, Soils, and Environmental Sciences (WACSES), 2010
  • Honorary American FFA Degree - National FFA Organization, 2010
  • Andy Swiger Land Grant Award, 2007
  • Ag. Woman of the Year - Sigma Alpha, 2007
  • University Alumnae Teaching Award, 2001
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award, 1999


  1. Abaye, A. 2018 (second edition). Common Grasses, Legumes and Forbs of the Eastern United States: Identification and Adaptation. 420 pp. Elsevier/Academic Press. London, England. (ISBN: 0615357571).


(*denotes graduate students)

  1. Vashro* T. N., A. O. Abaye, A. Farris, V. I. Kraak, M. W. Hulver, and F. Gueye. 2018. Dietary Diversity of Women and Children in Senegal. Nutritional Ecology and Food Research. Vol. 5, 1–7..
  2. Diatta* A.A., W. E. Thomason, A.O. Abaye , L. J. Vaughan, T.L. Thompson, M. Lo M, B. K. Chim, S. Bateman. 2018. Inoculation and soil texture effects on yield and yield components of mungbean. Journal of Agricultural Science (Toronto) 10:6-16.
  3. Diatta, A.A., W.E. Thomason, O. Abaye, L.J. Vaughan, T.L. Thompson, M. Lo, B.K. Chim, and S. Bateman. Inoculation and soil texture effects on yield and yield components of mungbean. Journal of Agricultural Science, 10(9). doi:10.5539/jas.v10n9pxx
  4. Thomason, W.E., A.A. Diatta, and O. Abaye. 2018. Potential of mungbean intercropping with millet in Senegal. In: Agronomy in Africa. ASA-CSSA International Anual Meetings, Baltimore, MD (USA).
  5. Diatta, A.A., O. Abaye, W.E. Thomason, M. Lo, F. Guèye, A.B. Baldé, F. Tine, L.J. Vaughan, and T.L. Thompson. Effect of intercropping mungbean on millet yield in the Peanut basin, Senegal (In press).  
  6. Trail*, P., A. O. Abaye, W. E. Thomason, T. L. Thompson, F. Gueye,  I. Diedhiou, M. B. Diatta, and A. Faye. 2016. Evaluating Intercropping (Living Cover) and Mulching (Desiccated Cover) Practices for Increasing Millet Yields in Senegal. Agron. J. Vol. 108,   1742-1752.
  7. Coleman*, J. , A. O. Abaye, W. Barbeau, and W, Thomason. 2013. Nutrient Composition and Consumer Acceptance of Teff Flour in Sugar Cookies. Journal of Nutritional Ecology and Food Research. Vol. 1, 129–133.
  8. Newman*, C., A. O. Abaye, W. Clapham, B. Tracy, S. Swecker, and R. Maguire. 2012. Risk Management in Forage Production of Cow-Calf Systems of Appalachian. Agron. J. V. 104, 337-343.

Extension Publication

  1. Abaye A.O., T. Archibald, L. Vaughan, T. Thompson, W. Thomason, D. F. Mbaye,  M. LO, A. SY, F. Gueye, B. Guiesse,  K. A. Jamison. 2018. Internationalizing the Land Grant Mission: Lessons from Senegal. Virginia Cooperative Extension.  Publication: CSES-207P

Abstracts (related abstracts)

  1. Abaye A. O., T.N. Vashro and F. Gueye. The Effect of Mung Bean on Improving Dietary Diversity of Women and Children in Senegal. Tampa Fl. Oct. 22-25, 2017.
  2. Abaye A. O., P. Trail, W. E. Thomason and T. Thompson. 2016. Assessing the benefits of millet-cowpea and millet-mung bean intercropping systems in Senegal. ASA meeting, Phoenix, Az.  Nov. 6-9, 2016.
  3. Abaye, O.A., Trail, P, Gueye, T, Gueye F, Mbaye D, and Bineta Guisse. Mung bean: Alternative High Protein Source Food Legume for Senegal. Eucarpia International Symposium on Protein Crops, Pontevedra (Spain). May 4 – 7, 2015.
  4. Trail*. P., A. O. Abaye, T. L. Thompson and W. E. Thomason. Conservation Agriculture in Senegal: Comparing the Effects of Intercropping and Mulching practices on Millet Yields.  ASA Southern Branch Annual Meeting, Atlanta GA.  Feb. 1-3, 2015.
  5. Abaye, O.A. Outreach “Sharing Knowledge to Serve Senegal” Case Studies. Long Beach, Ca. Nov. 2-5, 2014
  6. Gichane*, W. A. O. Abaye, and J. Anderson. An exploration of perceptions and attitudes of Senegalese professors towards learner-centered instructional strategies in Agriculture courses. American Association for Agricultural Education Annual Conference, San Antonio TX.  May 18-21, 2014.
  7. Abaye A. O., P. Guilbaud. Modes of Faculty Engagement and Collaboration in a Senegal Higher Education Agriculture Capacity-Building Project. Higher Education Pedagogy, Inn at Virginia Tech. Feb. 6-8, 2013.