Nationally known plant breeder Nancy Jo Ehlke has been named head of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics at the University of Minnesota.
She has been interim head of the department since January 2005. The department is recognized around the world for its excellence in research, teaching, and Extension programs in plant breeding and molecular genetics, cropping systems, agro-ecology, and renewable energy.
"This is an exciting and challenging time for the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and the college," Ehlke said. "I am looking forward to helping facilitate the success of the department through the realization of its strategic goals and by identifying and investigating new opportunities for research and education."
Since joining the agronomy department in 1986, Ehlke has specialized in research and teaching in the areas of forage legumes, turf grasses and native plant species. She is a fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America. In addition to her teaching and administrative responsibilities, Ehlke leads research and outreach activities in northern Minnesota with grass and legume seed producers and her research project manages the Magnusson Research Farm located in Roseau.