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Shulstad named to top CAES research post

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

After a yearlong national search, Dean J. Scott Angle announced Monday, Oct. 29 that Robert Shulstad will be the new associate dean for research for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Shulstad has served as interim associate dean for research for the past 18 months following the resignation of Jerry Cherry in 2006. He has been on the CAES faculty for 20 years as head of the agricultural and applied economics department, director of the office of environmental sciences and assistant dean for research.

Before coming to Georgia, Shulstad was a researcher and teacher at the University of Arkansas, specializing in issues at the interface of production agriculture and the environment. He also served as the head of the agricultural economics and rural sociology department.

“During his interim appointment, Dr. Shulstad led our research program to unparalleled success,” Angle said in his announcement. “Despite budget reductions during the early part of this decade leading to declining faculty numbers, over the past two years, research productivity has come roaring back to the point where CAES led all colleges in research funding, one of the most important parameters used to evaluate colleges. I look forward to even greater success under Dr. Shulstad’s permanent leadership of our research program.”

Shulstad holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate of agricultural and natural resource economics from Oregon State University. He and his wife Carol live in Greene County and have two sons and six grandchildren.

“I am both humbled and proud to be selected as a permanent member of the CAES leadership team,” Shulstad said. “The faculty and staff of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences have demonstrated their dedication and professional excellence in making the college among the very best in the nation.”

Besides the associate dean’s responsibilities, Shulstad will also be associate director of Georgia’s agricultural experiment stations. The college has agricultural and environmental research programs at UGA’s campuses in Athens, Griffin and Tifton and at seven research-and-education centers across the state.

Georgia agricultural experiment stations are home to some of the world’s leading experts in food safety and technology, plant and animal genetics and breeding, agricultural technology, water use efficiency, water quality improvement, biofuels production, land use planning, marketing and agricultural policy.

Researchers at AES facilities focus on making the U.S. food supply safer and longer-lasting; breeding plants that use less water, require less pesticides and are more resistant to disease; monitoring greenhouse gases and other pollutants; creating leaner cuts of meat through alternative livestock diets; and creating new and useful products from crop by-products.

For over 100 years, Georgia agricultural experiment station researchers have worked as the research and development system for U.S agriculture, keeping agricultural production strong, environmental quality high and families healthy and viable.

“With the strong support of our stakeholders, the university, the state and our congressional delegation, we have been able to create a firm foundation which has been leveraged by our faculty and staff into truly excellent programs to meet the needs of our clientele,” Shulstad said. “We have a great team led by Dean Angle to provide fully integrated programs in teaching, research and extension.”

(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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