President Lombardi Announces New VP for Agriculture and Natural Resources

Published: July 22nd, 1998

Category: Memos

John Lombardi, President

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announce that Dr. Mike Martin has agreed to become our Vice President of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This concludes a wide-ranging national search that turned up outstanding candidates inside and outside the University. While this rich pool of excellent candidates made the decision difficult, we believe that we have identified the right person to lead IFAS and support our university’s land-grant mission in agriculture and natural resources.

Attached is a press release announcing the conclusion of the search that will be sent out this afternoon and will likely appear in the press tomorrow.

With thanks to Dean Phillips who led the search committee and for all the support from friends, alumni, faculty, staff, and students who helped make this search a success,

Sincerely yours,

John Lombardi

GAINESVILLE — University of Florida President John V. Lombardi announced today that University of Minnesota’s Michael Martin has accepted the position of vice president for agriculture and natural resources in UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Martin is Minnesota’s acting vice president for agricultural policy; dean of their College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences; and professor of applied economics. Transition work will begin immediately for Martin to begin at UF in early fall.
“The University of Florida is delighted to welcome Mike Martin to lead IFAS as our vice president for agriculture and natural resources,” Lombardi said. “Dr. Martin has a wide ranging experience in agriculture, natural resources and the agricultural industry, and he has consistently demonstrated superior leadership in his various prior positions.”
Martin received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Mankato State College in Minnesota and his doctorate in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. During 15 years at Oregon State University, Martin was honored as a teacher, leader and contributor to the agricultural industry. He returned to the University of Minnesota in 1992 as associate dean for research. A specialist in the interplay between international trade, development and public policy, he became dean in October 1995. 

As vice president at UF, Martin will oversee the College of Agriculture, Agriculture Experiment Station, Cooperative Extension Service, School of Forest Resources and Conservation and elements of the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

With an annual operating budget of $135 million, IFAS has about 850 faculty members and more than 1,300 full-time staff members in 22 academic departments on the main campus, 15 administrative research and education centers around the state and extension offices in all 67 Florida counties. 

“Florida agriculture faces many challenges from overseas competition, regulatory issues, and federal and state policy, as well as from the natural challenges of producing high-quality products in an efficient and environmentally sound manner for the world,” Lombardi said. “IFAS serves as the university’s principal focus for serving the agricultural industry and the natural resource constituencies of this state, and we are delighted to have Mike Martin’s leadership as we all join together to meet these challenges through IFAS and the University of Florida.” 

Martin succeeds James Davidson who retired Jan. 31, 1998.

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