Greetings from Agronomy!
I am delighted and honored to be writing this note welcoming all of you - students, staff, faculty, graduate students, post-docs, visiting scholars, and friends of Agronomy to the Fall Semester 2021. It is an exciting time of the year when there is so much enthusiasm and energy on our campus.
As many of you know, I became the Department Head of Agronomy in January of 2021. I am honored and humbled to be serving in this role and want to express my gratitude to the people in Agronomy, College of Agriculture, and the entire University, who have been so welcoming in bringing me in to the K-State family.
You may recall I started my position at a time when the COVID Pandemic was at its peak and it made the transition into this leadership role a bit more challenging. Hence, it is a welcome change to be able to see, meet, and greet people in-person, outside the “zoom meeting frame”. While the pandemic took a toll on us in many different ways – fiscally, personally, professionally, and most importantly emotionally, I hope it is behind us and this new academic year brings new opportunities.
In the last seven months or so I have learned so much about our department, college, University, campus, and community. I have met so many incredibly talented, motivated, and dedicated individuals that make up our department, from our business office to farm operations and everything in between. I realized, Agronomy consists of dedicated individuals who gets things done. I continue to learn as I interact with so many friends and supporters of Agronomy. I had the fortune to participate in a couple of Field days earlier this month, and I can truthfully say that Agronomy matters. What we do touches the lives of so many around the state, locally and globally. I am privileged to be part of the Agronomy Department at K-State.
Let me share with you that we are in the process of drafting Agronomy’s new Strategic Plan for the next five to ten years. The future for Agronomy holds promise and looks bright as we plan to grow and invest in areas of Digital Agronomy, Climate Smart Agriculture, and Integrated Sustainable Food Systems. We are also working on realizing the Master Plan for the Agronomy North Farm with plans to co-locate private partners working closely with us in discovery, education, and engagement. Likewise, we are gearing up to attract new faculty to address the highest priorities of our department and stakeholders. It is an exciting time to be in Agriculture and I am proud to be part of a college that is ranked 7th in the nation as per the most recent report by www.Niche.com in its annual Best Colleges for Agricultural Sciences ranking.
In the coming months, I plan to travel around the state to visit our off-campus facilities, and meet our faculty, staff, students, and external stakeholders in-person. My goal is to listen and learn, so that I can continue to lead the Department of Agronomy productively. Thank you for your continuous support. Stay safe and be well.