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  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Margaret Smith's headshot
Margaret Smith. Photo provided

Margaret Smith has been appointed as associate dean and director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (Cornell AES), effective August 1, 2020.

Margaret came to Cornell in 1987 as a faculty member in Plant Breeding and Genetics, focusing on corn breeding. Her research program emphasizes breeding for productivity and adaptation to New York growing conditions, improving insect and disease resistance, and breeding for organic systems.

Since 2008, she has served as the associate director of Cornell AES. In that role, Margaret oversees a competitive grants program to allocate Federal Capacity Funds from the USDA to research projects designed to address the needs of New Yorkers. These funds provide roughly $6 million annually to support a portfolio of about 175 research projects spread across three Cornell Colleges (Agriculture and Life Sciences, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine). Cornell’s allocation of these funds via a competitive process and in coordination with Cornell Cooperative Extension is recognized at the national level as a model approach.

Additionally, Margaret has served CALS by leading Extension efforts for Plant Breeding and Genetics since 2001 as well as having served as associate director for Cornell Cooperative Extension from 1998-2001.

Jan Nyrop, who has served as associate dean and director of both Cornell AES and Cornell AgriTech since late 2017, will retain his role in Geneva for the AgriTech campus to continue building upon their impactful strategic vision. His dedication to serving the important stakeholders of Cornell AES and introducing significant reforms at both experiment stations these past few years is greatly appreciated.

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