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Kathryn M. Payne

Applied Forage Systems Specialist


  • Ph.D., Integrated Plant and Soil Sciences, 2019, University of Kentucky
  • M.S., Crop and Soil Science, 2014, University of Georgia
  • B.S., Soil Science, 2012, West Virginia University


  • Applied Forage Systems Specialist, Southern Piedmont Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Virginia Polytechnic University and Institute, 2019-present.
  • Graduate research assistant, University of Kentucky, 2014-2019.
  • Graduate research assistant, University of Georgia, 2012-2014.

Current Projects

  • Forage Species Variety Trials
    • Novel Tall Fescue
    • Orchardgrass
    • Native Warm-Season Grasses (Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, Eastern Gamagrass, and Switchgrass)
  • Implementing Conservation Practices on Horse Farms
  • Native Warm-Season Grasses
    • Summer Grazing Demonstration
    • Legume Integration into NWSG
  • Evaluation of Handheld NIR Devices in Predicting Forage Quality

The goal of the forage extension program is to provide unbiased information through applied research that relays applicable management strategies to support our forage and livestock producers; leading to an improvement of their production efficiency, increase the profitability of their operation, and enhancing forage, livestock, and environmental quality. By working with extension colleagues, local extension personnel, and producers, we can provide educational programs and written publications on relevant and emerging topics of forage and livestock production in Virginia.