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WSU Crops/Soils Chair Named New Director of WSU Extension

PULLMAN, Wash. – Rich Koenig, soil scientist and department chair, is the new associate dean and director of Washington State University Extension.

Koenig, former chair of the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, has been making the transition to his new position over the past month. Dan Bernardo, WSU vice president for agriculture and extension, said Koenig brings the perfect skill set to an Extension organization poised to take a giant step forward.

Rich Koenig is the new director of Washington State University Extension. Click on image for high resolution version.

“As a faculty member and department chair, Rich has gained a deep understanding of all of the college’s priorities in teaching, research and Extension,” Bernardo said. “He has the leadership skills and vision to leverage the integration of those three for the benefit of the people of Washington and beyond.”

Bernardo also thanked and praised Randy Baldree for his service as interim associate director of WSU Extension between June 2011 and September 2012. WSU Extension includes more than 700 employees and 13,000 volunteers working in outreach programs in agriculture, natural resources, community and economic development and youth and family.

Koenig said although he has much to learn about the breadth and depth of WSU Extension, “I also have a passion for Extension and am optimistic and bullish on the future of the organization.”

Koenig joined WSU in 2003 as a faculty member and soil scientist. In 2008, he became chair of the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, one of the largest departments in CAHNRS. He led research and extension programs in soil and nutrient management for agricultural and urban systems. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and a Ph.D. from WSU.