December 7, 2010
Dr. Richard Foster, a national expert in food sustainability and former vice president for programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has been named W.K. Kellogg Professor in Food, Society and Sustainability at Michigan State University. Funded by a $3.4 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Food, Society and Sustainability program, the position is housed in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and includes an appointment in MSU Extension.
“We have called on Rick Foster many times to provide insight into major issues, and his perspective has contributed tremendously to the success of the college, so I am excited to have him join our faculty,” said Jeffrey D. Armstrong, dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Under his leadership, we will help the MSU community embrace sustainability and establish Michigan’s future development principles for growth that is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.”
Since stepping into his new position, Foster has been chosen to direct the new Institute for Greening Michigan, where he will be responsible for directing MSU Extension’s educational efforts in community and economic development, natural resources and stewardship, food systems and resource allocation.
Foster has been recognized for his work by honors that include the National FFA Honorary American Farmer Degree, an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance Spirit of Leadership Award and the CANR Honorary Alumnus Award.
His work has been instrumental in enabling MSU CANR to undertake a range of land-grant efforts. His advice and support have made possible the Student Organic Farm; the Land Policy Institute; the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agriculture, Food and Community Ethics; the Great Lakes Leadership Academy; a new Food and Fitness program and many other initiatives at MSU.
Prior to joining the Kellogg Foundation in 1991, Foster worked in international development activities in Africa and Central America and was instrumental in establishing the School of Agriculture for the Humid Tropical Region (EARTH University) in Costa Rica.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society.
The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is the founding college of Michigan State University.
Together with the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE), it serves the people of Michigan through research, education and outreach that engage citizens in enhancing economic development and exploring sustainable solutions to issues in agriculture, food systems, biotechnology, the environment and human and community development.