Adam Downing

Extension Agent, Forestry (housed in Madison Co.), Agriculture and Natural Resources

Virginia’s natural resources are varied and valuable. The Northern District Natural Resources Extension Program focuses on the renewable and perpetual resources related to trees and forests. Perpetual resources, such as clean air and water, are linked to large forest tracts as well as individual street trees. Timber and wildlife are renewable and contribute to economic and social well being. Extension programming enhances and sustains these resources for all Virginians through a variety of efforts that have one or more of the following goals:  Ecosystem Integrity, Individual Capacity Building and Industry Viability. These broad range goals are incorporated across a suite of six programming initiatives: Urban Forestry & Arboriculture Education, Natural Resource Professionals Outreach, Private Forest Landowner Education, Natural Resources at the Interface, 4-H Youth Education and General Public Awareness.

Since 2001 Adam has worked as the Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Agent serving Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Northern District, a 25 county area generally described as the Northern Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  His professional expertise is in providing informal education regarding forestry and natural resources to address current issues in rural, urban, and rural/urban interface areas to home & landowners, professionals, decision-makers, and the general public.  His mission is to enable people to make best decisions regarding the forest & natural resources, within their realm of influence, resulting in environmentally sustainable management, growth, and quality of life for that person and that community.



M.S. Forest Resources, Penn State. 1999.

B.S. Forest Management, Purdue University. 1993.

Certified Arborist MA-4922A. 2008

Certified Pesticide Applicator Certificate # 90891-G. 2003.


2001 to present.  Extension Agent – Natural Resources, Northern District Natural Resources. Virginia Cooperative Extension

1998 – 2001.  Extension Agent - Forestry/4-H, Northwest District. Penn State Cooperative Extension

1996 – 1998.  Graduate Teaching Assistant. School of Forest Resources, Penn State.

1994 – 1996.  District Agro-Forestry Extension Specialist. United State Peace Corps.

1994 – 1994.  Assistant District Forester. Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.

Professional Associations

National Association of County Agricultural Agents, 1998-present

Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, 1998-present

Society of American Foresters, 1996-present

Selected Awards

2011.  Gold Award:  Video/DVD/CD. ANREP.

2010.  Merit Award. Appalachian Society of American Foresters.

2009.  Extension Excellence Program Award - New Initiatives. VCE

2008.  Silver Award. Extension Publication. Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

2007.  National Winner:  Communication Award, Publication. NACAA.

2007.  Young Forester Leadership Award. Appalachian Society of American Foresters.

2006.  Gold Award:  Refereed Journal Article. ANREP.

2005.  Gold Award:  Radio. ANREP

2004.  Gold Award:  Newsletter/Series of Articles. ANREP

Selected Publications

Munsell, J., R. Hamilton, A. Downing. 2010. Sustainable Forest Education Program Seeks to Reach the Next Generation of Forest Stewards. CSA News (55)2, 47-50.

Kays, J.; A.K. Downing; J. Finley. 2009. Backyard Woodlots: Filling the Small Acreage Service Provider Gap with the Green Industry. In: Piatek, K.B., B.D. Spong, S. Harrison, and D.W. McGill. 2009. Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees: New possibilities and expectations for products and services from small-scale forestry. Proceedings of the 2009 IUFRO 3.08 Small-Scale Forestry Symposium. June 2009, Morgantown, WV, United States: West Virginia University, Division of Forestry and Natural Resources. [[Date accessed: September 2, 2011].

Downing, A., J. Kays, J. Finley. 2007. Education of Backyard Woods Owners for Management of a Neglected Resource. In: Laband, D.N., ed. Proceedings of Emerging Issues Along Urban/Rural Interfaces 2. Atlanta, GA: Auburn University Press: 76-79. [Date accessed: January 14, 2008].

Kays, J. J. Drohan, A. Downing, J. Finley. 2006. The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home. Ithaca, NY: Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. NRAES-184.

Downing, A. 2006. Extension Forestry Serving Virginia’s Private Forest Landowners. Virginia Forests. 62(1): 8-10.

Downing, A. and J. Finley. 2005. Private Forest Landowners: What they want in an educational Program. Journal of Extension. 7 pp. [Date accessed January 14, 2008].

Downing, A. 2005. Wildlife Neighbors: In your backyard and in your forest. Forest Landowner. 63(3): 14-15.

Picture of Adam Downing