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Arizona to seek new Extension director

Todd Fitchette wfp-todd-fitchette-university-of-arizona-42-web.jpg
The search is on for a new Extension director with the University of Arizona. An interim director was named to fill the role while a permanent replacement to long-time director Jeff Silvertooth is named. Silvertooth will remain with the university to conduct research in cotton, chilies, and melons.
Interim director named as long-time leader Jeff Silvertooth gives up administrative duties to return to field research.

Ed Martin, Maricopa County Ariz. Extension director, was named interim director for the University of Arizona's Extension program by Shane Burgess, vice president for Agriculture, Life and Veterinary Sciences, and Cooperative Extension, and the Charles-Sander Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona.

He succeeds Jeff Silvertooth, who steps down from the administrative position to take on some field work.

Martin has a BS in Agricultural Engineering and a M.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education both from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1984. He joined MSU Extension as an Associate in Extension working on irrigation programs with Michigan farmers, and he concurrently earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural Technology Management.

Martin has extensive experience in the Arizona Cooperative Extension System. In 1992 he joined the then-Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering as an assistant specialist. Promoted to associate specialist in 1998 and to full specialist status in 2005, he later became the county director in Maricopa County in 2012. He was honored by the university's Ag100 Council in 2004 as College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Member of the Year.

Silvertooth likewise has a long-standing career with the University of Arizona, serving as that state's cotton specialist for 15 years before moving into administration for more than two decades. He served as the head of the state's Extension service for 10 years.

"I want to go back to the field and do some work," Silvertooth said. That work will return him to agronomy and soil science, where he studies cotton, chilies, and melons.

The University of Arizona will soon embark on a permanent search to fill the position that oversees Cooperative Extension with the land-grant university.

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