Arlen Leholm to leave Extension to head north central ag experiment station association

The North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors is pleased to announce the hiring of Arlen Leholm as its Executive Director effective Feb. 1, 2007. Leholm will leave his current position as University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Jan. 31, 2007.

Daryl Lund, Leholm’s predecessor, retires Jan. 3, 2007 after serving the NCRA for six years. “We have all benefited from Daryl’s participation with the NCRA,” said Forrest Chumley of Kansas State University, chair of both the NCRA and the search committee. “His retirement is well-deserved and we remain grateful for his help during the transition. We wish him well.”

When asked about Leholm’s appointment, Chumley replied, “We’re very happy about this move. It’s exciting to have someone with Arlen’s experience and expertise in this position. We’re thrilled to have Arlen working with us on building strong research teams. Because of his Extension experience, Arlen is also in a unique position to help our region’s multistate research program become better integrated with Extension.”

Leholm said of the change, “I’m comfortable with my decision to end my watch as dean and director, because I’m leaving Cooperative Extension at the top of its game. Wisconsin citizens have never been better served by Cooperative Extension.”

Under Leholm’s leadership, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension remains a national pioneer of working with communities to tackle complex issues. Leholm’s shared leadership approach fostered the advancement of more than 40 research teams that continue to produce results. In addition, Leholm encouraged the formation of Community Partner Advisory Groups throughout Wisconsin, which provide closer connections to the citizens served by Extension.

Leholm previously served at Michigan State University as Director of Cooperative Extension. He also co-directed the university’s Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Additionally, Leholm worked as a farm management economist at North Dakota State University and served as Leader of the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension’s Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development Program.

“As Executive Director of NCRA, I will have an opportunity to strengthen research links throughout the 12-State North Central region,” added Leholm. “Also, I’ll be in a position to help advance new multi-state research priorities at these excellent land grant institutions, including research that enhances the bio-based economy.”

Leholm will join an already strong team when he becomes an official part of the NCRA. The regional association encompasses 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. One of four regional associations, the NCRA facilitates regional and national research and serves as the liaison between the experiment stations and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service in Washington D.C.