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Olga Walsh

Associate Professor in Smalls Grains Research and Extension
Olga Walsh
490 W Campus Dr.
306-D Saunders Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24060


My appointment carries responsibilities in Extension (70%) and Research (30%) in Grain Crops with a focus on production and management of corn, small grains, and other potential crops for grain and silage to increase overall productivity, resiliency, sustainability, and economic value of food, agriculture production systems, and natural resources. I have considerable experience with various grain cropping systems. I am charged with establishing a thriving, externally funded, nationally recognized and highly regarded Research and Extension program. My position involves working closely with Virginia Cooperative Extension Agents, the Agriculture Research Extension Centers, and stakeholder groups sch as the Virginia Grain Producers Association. The Grain Crops position holds responsibilities predominantly in the area of Extension, one of the backbones of the land grant system. I am committed to fully support and advance Virginia Tech’s Mission of excellence through efforts in education, research, service, scholarship, and leadership in the field of agriculture. Through these goals, the community is able to communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion within our work, education, and social environments.


  • Soil fertility
  • Plant nutrition
  • Remote sensing
  • Precision agriculture


  • Ph.D. Soil Science, Oklahoma State University, 2009
  • M.S. Soil Science, Oklahoma State University, 2006 
  • B.S. Soil Science, St. Petersburg State University, 1997

Research aims to increase productivity, resiliency, and agronomic, socio-economic, and environmental sustainability of agricultural systems. My research goals lie in working on finding research-based answers for problems ag producers are experiencing across the state of Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions, and beyond. I am especially interested in interdisciplinary projects aiming to sustainably increase productivity of cropping systems. Crop diversification and developing grower recommendations for grain crops with strong yielding potential are within the scope of my work. Water and nutrient efficient crops grown for grain and/or forage offer many opportunities to improve growers’ bottom line while conserving water, fertilizer, and enhancing soil health long term.

I do not have a formal Teaching appointment; efforts are focused on fostering the next generation of Extension agents and specialists, agronomists, farmers, and crop advisers through mentoring and training of graduate students. Guest lectures will be delivered as needed to support undergraduate and graduate courses. 

Associate Professor | 2024-Present
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Research Associate Professor and Extension Specialist | 2019-2024
Department of Plant Sciences
Parma Research and Extension Center

Affiliate Research Associate Professor | 2021-2024
Department of Soil and Water Systems
University of Idaho

Assistant Extension Professor and Extension Specialist | 2014-2019
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Idaho

Assistant Professor | 2010-2014
Department of Research Centers
Montana State University

Graduate Research Assistant | 2021-2024
Oklahoma State University

  • Major Professor: 5 students
  • Graduate Student Committees: 7 students
  • Post-Doctoral Scientists Advised: 4
  • Technical Support Staff Trained and Supervised: 36
  • Outstanding Associate Editor Award Agronomy Journal, 2017
  • Outstanding PhD Student Award Dept of Plant and Soil Sciences Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma, 2008
  • Sitlington Enriched Graduate Scholarship Dep of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater Oklahoma, 2007-09 
  • Soil Science Society of America, Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition Division Chair-Elect, 2023-25
  • Agronomy Journal Editorial Board Technical Editor – Soils & Crops, 2018 – Current
  • University of Idaho, University-Level Promotion & Tenure Committee Member, 2023
  • University of Idaho, Faculty Senate, College of Agricultural & Life Sciences Rep, 2022-23
  • National Student Speech Contest Committee Chair, Soil Science Society of America, 2019
  • Western Crop Science Society of America President, 2019-21
  • WERA-103 Nutrient Management and Water Quality multi-state project Chair, 2019
  • Golden Opportunity Scholars Institute – Scholar and Mentor Selection Chair, 2018
  • Agronomy Journal Editorial Board ASA Associate Editor – Precision Ag, 2013-17
  • American Society of Agronomy Sensor-Based Nutrient Management Community Chair, 2016-17
  • ASA/CSSA/SSSA Early Career Member Committee Chair, 2015-16
  • Editor Reviewed Publications and Reports: 49 (38 first author)
  • Abstracts: 89 abstracts (48 first author)
  • Proceedings of Professional Meetings: 59 proceedings (48 first author)
  • Popular Press: 29 articles (14 first author) 
  • International & National: 96 presentations (57 as presenting author)
  • Regional: 60 presentations (50 as presenting author)
  • Local: 101 presentations (88 as presenting author)
  • Total / Spending Authority: $11,052,058/ $3,745,693