The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

NIFA director Roger Beachy resigns

National Institute of Food and Agriculture Director Roger Beachy has resigned, effective May 20, Agriculture Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics Cathie Woteki announced today in a message to her staff.

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

But a USDA source said administration officials believed that Beachy's first love was research and that he wants to return to research.

Woteki said a search for a new director “of outstanding scientific and management credentials” will be launched immediately, and that Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young will serve as acting director of NIFA. Jacobs-Young is director of the Office of the Chief Scientist at USDA.

Beachy 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 NIFA in 2010, Woteki noted.

“That monumental effort from staff and Dr. Beachy forged NIFA’s reputation as a leader in promoting research and education into some of the most important issues facing the nation today," she said. "All of us who have worked with Dr. Beachy will miss his leadership, his enthusiasm and his expertise."