Center for Agriculture - Celebration of 150 years of Agriculture

Sonny Ramaswamy, Dir, USDA Natl Inst for Food and Agriculture

"Open Forums and Listening Sessions"

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 9:00am - 10:30am

Campus Center Reading Room

Open Forum with Faculty, Staff and Administrators
Campus Center Reading Room, opposite Blue Wall on Concourse level
9:00am – 10:30am

Open Forum with Students and Postdoctorals
Room 917 Campus Center
3:00pm – 4:00pm

The College of Natural Sciences and the Center for Agriculture are co-hosting a day-long Celebration of Agriculture on Thursday, April 25. The public is invited to attend an Open Forum and Listening Session with special guest Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, the Director of the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture. CNS carries forward the national land-grant university tradition of agricultural research and education that began with the creation of Massachusetts Agricultural College (“Mass Aggie,” as it was affectionately called) on April 29, 1863. The college’s Center for Agriculture is the current home of two historic missions: applied research, and public outreach. The Center will soon be renamed the Center for Agriculture, Food and The Environment, to better reflect the full range of its 21st-century mission.

NIFA's mission is “to lead food and agricultural sciences to create a better future for the Nation and the world by supporting research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. NIFA doesn't perform actual research, education, and extension but rather helps fund it at the state and local level and provides program leadership in these areas. The broad expectation is that NIFA will enhance the stature and impact of food, agricultural, and natural resource sciences and ultimately grow support for agricultural research, education, and extension.“

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy was appointed to serve as director of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on May 7, 2012. As part of USDA’s Research, Education, and Extension mission, NIFA awards funds for a wide range of extramural research, education, and extension projects that address the needs of farmers, ranchers, and agricultural producers. Prior to joining NIFA, Dr. Ramaswamy served as dean of Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station. Previously, Dr. Ramaswamy was associate dean of the Purdue University College of Agriculture and directed the university’s agricultural research programs from 2006 to 2009. Prior to joining the Purdue faculty, Dr. Ramaswamy was head of Kansas State University’s Department of Entomology from 1997 to 2006. He also served on the faculty of Mississippi State University and as a research associate at Michigan State University. He received a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and a Master of Science in entomology from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India, and his doctorate in entomology from Rutgers University. He is also a graduate of the University of Nebraska’s New Academic Chair’s Program and Harvard University’s Management Development Program.