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Fred Poston, Michigan State University’s vice president for finance and operations, will return to a position he left 15 years ago and become dean of the university’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He will remain special adviser to the MSU president.

The appointment is effective January 1.

Michigan agricultural leaders remember Poston’s career for the creation of Project GREEEN (Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs), a program that funds plant research and has been important to fruit and vegetable growers. Industry leaders explain their research needs and researchers are guided by these as they develop research proposals. Poston fostered a similar program, the Revitalization of Michigan Animal Agriculture project, which addresses animal agriculture needs.

 “We are very pleased to have the opportunity to again work with Dr. Poston,” said Wayne Wood, president of the Michigan Farm Bureau. “Under his previous tenure, we experienced completion of two of the most important projects impacting agriculture, the Animal Initiative and Project GREEEN. We look forward to that same vision and leadership as we tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our industry today.”

Poston succeeds Douglas Buhler, who served as interim dean since January 2011.

Poston will return to the college where he served as dean for eight years (1991-98).

Prior to coming to MSU, Poston was director of Washington State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and associate dean of agriculture and home economics. Before that, he was on the entomology faculty at Kansas Cooperative Extension Service. 

A native of Florida, Poston received his bachelor’s degree from West Texas State University and his graduate degrees in entomology from Iowa State University.