The Eaton Conservation District would like to acknowledge Dr. George Silva for his 30 years of service to Michigan State University with the Educator of the Year Award. Dr. Silva joined MSU in 1986 as a Research Specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences. In 1994, Silva joined Michigan State University Extension as a Project Manager of the 35,000-acre Sycamore Creek Watershed Project. His educational initiatives to preserve water quality by reducing non-point source contamination of sediment, fertilizers, and pesticides contributed to an 18% reduction in nitrogen and a 20% reduction in phosphorus fertilizer inputs in the watershed.
In 1997 he took on a dual role as Field Crops and Horticulture Extension Educator. He has served as an exemplary model in fulfilling the MSU Extension's pivotal role in applying unbiased, research-based knowledge to critical issues, needs, and opportunities. He uses his excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills to foster special relationships with both private and public agribusinesses.
Dr. Silva has won numerous awards for programming excellence, including the North Central Regional Communication Award and the Applied Research Poster Competition in 2007 at the National Association Meeting. These coveted awards were given in recognition of educational outreach efforts in value-added agriculture, environmental stewardship, and web-based technology. Dr. Silva is a firm believer in the use of technology for MSU outreach. He is committed to maintaining and enhancing MSU Extension's local, state, and international reputation for excellence. He has consistently implemented on-farm, hands-on research and demonstration projects and delivers timely information.
In 1999, Dr. Silva started the Eaton County Master Gardener volunteer training program. This program has trained 350 certified Master Gardener volunteers. The Lansing State Journal frequently consults Dr. Silva to publish gardening articles. He appears regularly on TV Channels 6 and 10. Additionally, he has been a regular guest speaker at local schools, Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, and gardening associations.
George is currently Senior Extension Educator for Eaton, Ingham, Barry, and Livingston counties. His list of accomplishments and awards, published publications, certifications, and experiences are so much more than this space allows. The important fact is the remarkable contribution that Dr. Silva has given to Eaton county, and for that we are grateful.