Andra Johnson, associate director of Penn State Extension, will be the next dean of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension and director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. He will assume the role on Nov. 1.
Johnson will lead UF/IFAS’ statewide network of more than 650 faculty educators and scientists, whose programs support economic, environmental and community health.
“Dr. Johnson brings energy and vitality to raising the profile of Extension,” said J. Scott Angle, UF vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of UF/IFAS. Angle said Johnson’s experience in administration, Extension, teaching, research and service, along with his upbringing on a farm, have contributed to his development as an emerging national leader.
Elaine Turner, dean of the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, led the nationwide search for the next dean of Extension. “Dr. Johnson’s career has woven the three components of the land-grant mission — teaching, research and Extension — together,” Turner said. “We are especially excited about his ideas for engaging more undergraduate and graduate students in Extension and working together to meet the talent needs of Florida’s agriculture and natural resource industries.”
Johnson grew up on a farm in rural Louisiana. His family raised cattle and grew cotton, corn and wheat. He earned a bachelor’s degree in urban forest management from Southern University and A&M College, and a master’s degree and doctorate in forest resources from The Pennsylvania State University. He became a tenured associate professor of urban forestry at Southern University in Louisiana. After more than a decade at Southern University, he took on roles in university leadership at Alcorn State University, Southern University and Penn State.
Johnson succeeds Nick Place, who served as UF/IFAS Extension dean from 2012 through 2020. Thomas Obreza has acted as interim dean and will return to his role as senior associate dean and associate director.
Source: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
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