Colorado State Appoints Vice Provost for Agriculture and Outreach as Interim Director of Cooperative Extension

Colorado State University this week announced that Marc Johnson, vice provost for agriculture and outreach and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, will serve as interim director for Cooperative Extension until a permanent director is named.

"Marc Johnson is an experienced academic administrator with many years of service managing cooperative extension agencies. His knowledge of outreach and agriculture functions at a land-grant university will aid us in this time of transition in permanent leadership," said Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley. "Colorado State University is dedicated to the ongoing success of Cooperative Extension, a critical component in achieving the university’s land-grant mission of outreach and service to citizens throughout Colorado."

Johnson joined Colorado State in August 2003 from Kansas State University, and he has since provided oversight as vice provost to the university’s outreach agencies, including Cooperative Extension.

Cooperative Extension is one of three arms of the university that are considered outreach agencies, together with Agricultural Experiment Station and the Colorado State Forest Service. The agency is part of a nationwide network of Cooperative Extension branches at land-grant universities in every state. Colorado State administration has identified Cooperative Extension and the outreach agencies as priorities of the university.

"Colorado State provides national leadership through our focus on translating scientific discoveries into tangible knowledge for people across the state and throughout the nation via the Cooperative Extension network," said Anthony Frank, provost and senior vice president. "Colorado State’s concentration on important issues such as agriculture, infectious disease, biosecurity, engineering and community development – combined with our commitment to outreach – allows Coloradans opportunities to use the latest scientific knowledge to address real problems and improve quality of life."

Johnson, who was raised on a family fruit farm near Wichita, Kan., has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Emporia State University in Kansas, a Master of Technology in International Development degree from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in agricultural economics from Michigan State University. His specialization is in marketing, transportation and public policy economics.  

Before joining Colorado State, Johnson served as dean of the College of Agriculture at Kansas State and director of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the Kansas Cooperative Extension Service for 11 years.     He previously headed the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State as well as served as a faculty member and instructor in economics at several universities. He additionally has provided leadership as associate head and Cooperative Extension specialist in charge at North Carolina State University.

Milan Rewerts, 15-year director of Cooperative Extension at Colorado State, last week announced his retirement effective May 31. Rewerts has worked in Cooperative Extension for more than 38 years.

Cooperative Extension’s network and mission has been a tradition since 1914 providing citizens of the nation information and educational resources in return for land granted by the national government to establish universities. In Colorado, Cooperative Extension has offices in most counties of the state, where experts on various topics such as agriculture, personal finance, horticulture, family and youth issues, community facilitation, natural resources and human health and nutrition provide education and information. The agency focuses on providing accurate, unbiased information based on research conducted at Colorado State and research agencies across the nation and world.