Finalists announced for Cooperative Extension Ag Institute Director

The Search and Screen Committee forwarded three candidates to the finalist stage for the Agriculture Institute Director position; April 2nd and 3rd are the dates for final interviews. The finalists will each provide a 20 minute presentation and take questions for 20 minutes (see schedule below).

Presentation Topic: Cooperative Extension is in a state of transition at multiple levels. What do you see as the strategic priorities of the Agriculture Institute in the short and intermediate term, and how would you approach establishing valued programming around these priorities while fostering an environment that is inclusive and collegial?  In describing your vision, please include an explanation and examples of how your experiences have prepared you to achieve these goals.

The presentations will be open to everyone in the organization and will be followed by a feedback period for anyone who would like to submit comments through an online survey.  Colleagues are welcome to participate in-person for the interviews in the Pyle Center; there is also an option to view and ask questions via the livestream links below. All presentations will be recorded for later viewing.  Final links and feedback surveys will be sent out by Cooperative Extension following the presentations.

Finalist Presentation Schedule, Location, and Biographies:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Jerome (Jerry) Clark

8:45 am – 9:30 am

Pyle Center Room DE235

 Jerry Clark has served for twenty years as a Crops and Soils Extension Educator with UW-Extension in Chippewa County, as well as four years in a dual role as Agronomy Educator in Eau Claire County. He has served in a variety of leadership roles during that time, including as Department Head and as Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Program Area Liaison. He also currently serves as the North Central Region Vice-Director of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. His educational programming has centered on agronomy and horticulture topics related to field and fruit crops, soil and water conservation, and manure and nutrient management. Mr. Clark is also a tenured faculty member in the Department of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 2002. Prior to joining UW-Extension, Mr. Clark was a dairy farmer. He has a Master of Science degree in Agriculture Education from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

William (Bill) Oemichen

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Pyle Center Room DE235

Bill Oemichen most recently served as the Director of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services from 2016-2017. In that role, he led the department, administered the operating budget, and provided oversight for staff and contractors. Prior to that position, he served for four years as the President and CEO of Cooperative Network and worked for five years as the Administrator of the Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection within the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Additional experiences include serving for three years as the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Legal Counsel for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, working as an attorney in private practices, and working as a staff member for the U.S. House of Representatives, Minnesota Senate, and Minnesota House of Representatives. Mr. Oemichen has a Juris Doctorate from University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Policy Fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Sara Walling

10:15 am – 11:00 am

Pyle Center Room DE235

Sara Walling is the Section Chief for Nutrient Management and Water Quality at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). In this position, which she has held for nearly six years, Ms. Walling leads implementation of the state’s agricultural performance standards and farm conservation practices focused on nutrient management and soil erosion control. Prior to that position, she served as a policy advisor to the DATCP Secretary on bioenergy, environmental and related issues. During that time, she initiated and led the Wisconsin Bioenergy Council. Additional experiences include five years at DATCP working as a Nutrient Management and Water Quality Specialist, and three years at the USDA National Soil Erosion Research Lab in Lafayette, Indiana. Ms. Walling has a Master of Science degree in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University.