By Sara Wyant

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

 WASHINGTON, April 29 – Dr. Roger Beachy, who took the helm of USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) in October 2009 and led the reorganization which transformed the agency into the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in 2010, has resigned, effective May 20, 2011, according to Economis Under Secretary Cathie Wotecki. 

 In the interim, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young will serve as Acting Director of NIFA. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Ph.D., is currently Director of the Office of the Chief Scientist at USDA.” Woteki announced that a search for a new director of outstanding scientific and management credentials will be launched immediately.

 In a memo to staff, Wotecki said it was “with regret” that she and Secretary Vilsack accepted his resignation.

 “We understand that Dr. Beachy’s first priority must be to the needs of his family, and he will be returning to St. Louis, Missouri, to spend more time with his wife, his children and his grandchildren,” she wrote.

 “Dr. Beachy has held those who receive NIFA-funded research grants to the highest standards, which has led to cutting edge research being done throughout the Land-Grant university system and other partner organizations. The agency’s support of cooperative extension and the 4-H program has changed lives, and helped train the next generation of agricultural scientists and researchers. Dr. Beachy leaves a legacy that will endure for years to come,” explained Wotecki.

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