New director announced for Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute

I am very pleased to announce that Ron Bates, professor of animal science and Extension specialist, has been named director of the Michigan State University Extension Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute. He will assume the role on April 1.

Dr. Bates began his career at the University of Missouri in 1986. Later, he served as technical director for Osborne Industries. He joined the faculty of MSU in 1996, and in every academic position since that time, he has had Extension as his primary appointment. He has received numerous awards, including the Michigan Association of Extension Agent’s Outstanding Extension Specialist Award in 2011.

In his interview presentation, Dr. Bates explained his long-term goals for the development of the institute within MSU Extension, which included ensuring that stakeholders see MSU Extension as a primary trusted source of need-based, research-grounded information and resources.

“My vision is not a destination, it’s really a journey,” said Dr. Bates.

In his presentation, he listed our well-trained, confident, self-reliant Extension educators and specialists as our greatest asset to promote the continued growth of the organization over time. In a series of implementation steps, he outlined his vision for more clarification, collaboration and engagement within the institute.

Upon accepting this appointment, Dr. Bates said, “It is my privilege to serve in this capacity continuing the important and excellent work done statewide by Extension educators, who provide a trusted source of research and need-based, unbiased educational programs, tools and information to our important and varied partners, stakeholders and clientele.”

We are pleased to have Dr. Bates join the administrative team for MSU Extension. Special thanks to the search committee for helping us through the selection process. Chaired by Jim Kells, the committee also included Julie Chapin, Chris Difonzo, Tom Guthrie, Michael Krauch, and Dennis Pennington.

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