Dave Baker was named director of the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University Extension on May 30. Baker, who served as interim director since January, previously was the center’s farm transition specialist. He’s been with the center since 2006.
“Dave is dedicated to the Beginning Farmer Center, working for many years to help those who want to farm get their farming operation started,” notes Jay Harmon, interim director of Ag and Natural Resources Extension at Iowa State University. “His leadership will continue to positively impact farmers across Iowa.”
Baker has a bachelor’s degree from Troy University and earned his MBA in business management from Southwest Minnesota State University. Before joining ISU Extension, Baker owned and managed a farm in northwest Iowa producing corn, soybeans, hay, cattle, hogs and poultry.
“I look forward to leading the Beginning Farmer Center and serving farm families with succession planning needs,” he says. “The transition of Iowa’s farms is never complete, as there will always be the next generation to consider.”
Created by the Iowa Legislature in 1994, the Beginning Farmer Center assists in facilitating the transition of farming operations from established farmers to beginning farmers.
Staff changes at ISU research farms
Leadership at two Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms has changed with the retirement of previous managers.
Ag specialists Logan Wallace and Brad Evans will co-manage the McNay Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm near Chariton, as Nick Piekema and Kevin Maher recently retired.
Wallace’s responsibilities include forages and pastures, facilities and infrastructure, crops, and research plots. Joining ISU in 2014, he earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from ISU in 2007 and a master’s from Kansas State University in 2010.
Evans will be responsible for beef cattle operations, including inventory, calving and breeding records, heifer development, research cattle records, and overall herd health management. He started with ISU in 2013 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in ag studies from ISU. From 2011 to 2013, he worked at the McNay farm as a student intern and part-time employee.
Other staffing changes have occurred at the Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm in Fruitland. Josh Michel, one of two ag specialists at the farm, became an area ISU Extension field agronomist in May. The two ag specialists replaced longtime superintendent Vince Lawson who retired in 2017.
With Michel’s change, Dominic Snyder will be the sole full-time ag specialist at Muscatine Island and is the point of contact at the farm. Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in 2017 in ag business, with a minor in horticulture from ISU. He’ll continue to report to Myron Rees, superintendent of the Muscatine Island Farm, and the Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm at Crawfordsville, and work with Cody Schneider, ag specialist at the Southeast farm.
The farms are outlying locations and part of the ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The McNay farm, established in 1956, focuses on beef cattle, forage and cropping systems research applicable to south-central Iowa.
The Muscatine Island Research Farm, established in 1935, is a partnership with the Muscatine Island Research Farm Association and specializes in projects related to vegetable crops, irrigation and soybean diseases. Each location has soils and topography representative of the area.
Source: Iowa State University