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New director for MSU School of Agriculture begins Aug. 1

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SPRINGFIELD, mo. — Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio, 58, has been named director of Missouri State University’s Darr School of Agriculture. He will replace Dr. Anson Elliott, longstanding director, who retired Dec. 31, 2015. Del Vecchio will begin on Aug. 1.

Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio

Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio

“We appreciate the leadership that Anson has provided over the years and the passion he has brought to the program at Missouri State,” said Dr. Frank Einhellig, provost at Missouri State. “With his strong leadership the School of Agriculture has grown in every way, and it has become a magnet for attracting students focused on a future career related to the multiple aspects of agricultural science and business.

“As we now transition to new leadership, we are excited to see the new ideas, vision and resourcefulness that Dr. Del Vecchio will bring with him from his extensive experience in the agriculture, natural resources and animal science fields.”

Del Vecchio’s appointment must be confirmed by the MSU Board of Governors at their June 10 meeting. Del Vecchio’s salary will be $137,000.

As director, Del Vecchio will also be responsible for administration of facilities associated with the School of Agriculture. The school has a unique position among academic units in that the work of the director includes primary level oversight for the Fruit Science Experiment Station at Mountain Grove and several other locations, including Shealy Farm, Journagan Ranch, Baker’s Acres and the Woodlands.

Del Vecchio most recently was at the University of Minnesota/Crookston, where he served as a professor and was the department head of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department from July 2008-July 2015. He received his doctorate and master’s degree from Texas A&M University in the area of animal science. He received his bachelor’s at the University of Rhode Island in the area of animal and veterinary science.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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