Dr. Jewel E. Hairston, dean of Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture, was recognized recently for spearheading Cooperative Extension’s study to identify and address food desert conditions existing in eight rural and urban Virginia localities. Food deserts, as defined by USDA, are areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. The study suggests that ignoring these issues could result in escalating health care costs to residents and epidemic rates of adult and childhood obesity. In acknowledgement of her leadership role, the Virginia Food Systems Council presented Hairston the Sustainable Table Award during the annual Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit held in Lynchburg.