Candidates for ARD dean announced

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Candidates for ARD dean announced

LINCOLN, Neb. — Four finalists for the position of Agricultural Research Division dean and Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Station director will interview on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s East Campus in April. The candidates and their interview schedule follow. Each public presentation is followed by a reception so attendees can meet and talk with the candidates.

Ron Yoder, head of UNL’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering since 2004, will interview April 13-15, with a public presentation from 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 13 at the Nebraska East Union.

Yoder, also associate director of Agricultural Water Management, Extension and Research at UNL since 2006, served as president of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for 2009-2010. He holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Drexel University, an M.S. in agricultural engineering from Clemson University and a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from Colorado State University.

Steven M. Kappes, animal production and protection deputy administrator for USDA-ARS in Beltsville, Maryland, will interview April 18-20, with a public presentation at 3:30- 5 p.m. April 18 in the Hardin Hall auditorium.

From 2001-2005, Kappes served as center director for the USDA-ARS, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center at Clay Center, where he also worked as a research scientist from 1992-1999. He holds a B.S. in animal science and an M.S. in reproductive physiology from South Dakota State University, and a Ph.D. in molecular biology and reproduction from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

David Baltensperger, department head of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, will interview April 20-22, with a public presentation from 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 21 in the Hardin Hall auditorium.

Before joining Texas A&M, Baltensperger was a UNL professor of agronomy working in dryland crops breeding at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, where he also supervised the High Plains Agricultural Laboratory. He holds a B.S. in biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University, an M.S. in agronomy (range and forage management) from the University of Nebraska, and a Ph.D. in agronomy (plant breeding) from New Mexico State University.

Francis Pierce, professor emeritus at Washington State University, Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, will interview April 26-28, with a public presentation from 3:15-4:45 p.m. April 26 in the Nebraska East Union.

From 2000-2010, Pierce was director of WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems and a professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences and Department of Biological Systems Engineering. He is past president of the American Society of Agronomy, serving as president in 2010. Pierce holds a B.S. in geology from State University of New York at Brockport, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Minnesota at St. Paul.

Additional candidate information is available at

Susan Fritz, associate vice chancellor of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, serves as interim dean of ARD, the only public entity in Nebraska charged with conducting agricultural research. It is part of a national network of state agricultural experiment stations at land-grant universities across the United States.

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