Keenum elected to lead Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board

MSU President Mark E. Keenum, left, newly elected chair of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board, accepts the gavel from Dan Glickman, outgoing FFAR board chair, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. Also congratulating Keenum is Sally Rockey, FFAR executive director.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Board of Directors elected Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum to chair the board, effective immediately.

Keenum was appointed to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research board in August 2014 by then-Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“I am very proud to have been part of the startup of this organization from day one and I commend the full board for giving their time and energy to something that is bigger than all of us. I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues to continue building on the extraordinary progress we have made to create the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research,” he said.

Outgoing chair Dan Glickman, former Agriculture Secretary and Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, will remain on the Board Executive Committee as Past Chair.

The following slate of officers were elected by unanimous vote:

Chair: Mark Keenum, Ph.D. Mississippi State University president

Vice Chair: Pam Johnson, National Corn Growers Association past president

Secretary: Mike Ladisch, Ph.D., Purdue University distinguished professor and directo

Treasurer: Chris Mallett, Ph.D., Cargill, Inc. corporate vice president, research and development

“We have the privilege of turning over the position of chair to Mark Keenum, whose leadership experience at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on Capitol Hill, and as president of Mississippi State University make him uniquely qualified to lead this board,” said Glickman. “I am confident that under Dr. Keenum’s leadership, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research will continue to advance toward transformational impact.”

New officers were elected as part of the Foundation board meeting held this week in Washington.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

About the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. Leveraging public and private resources, FFAR will increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. Established by the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR is governed by a Board of Directors with ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.

Sid Salter | Public Affairs

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