AMES, Iowa — Jay Harmon has been named the interim associate dean for extension and outreach programs and the interim director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.
Harmon fills the positions held by John Lawrence, who on Monday was named the interim vice president of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Lawrence succeeds Cathann Kress, who is leaving Iowa State for a new position at The Ohio State University.
Harmon, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension livestock housing specialist, will assume the his new responsibilities effective April 1. Lawrence becomes acting vice president on March 31, and will assume his interim role on April 29.
“We are fortunate to have a leader of Dr. Harmon’s caliber to continue the extraordinary commitment to science-based information and engagement we are known for in our agricultural and natural resources extension programs,” said Wendy Wintersteen, Endowed Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Dr. Harmon has a remarkable record of service to the state of Iowa, and is nationally recognized for his expertise in livestock production systems.”
Harmon joined ISU’s agricultural and biosystems engineering faculty in 1993. His extension duties have focused on improved profitability and sustainability through systems approach to livestock housing, management of ventilation and heating systems for swine housing and environmental modifications that improve swine conception rates. He has advised more than 200 producers on making the best decisions on siting new swine facilities by running an ISU-developed odor assessment model. He leads the Agricultural Systems and Environmental Stewardship Extension Group and, from 2014 to 2015, he served as interim director of ISU’s Iowa Pork Industry Center.
Harmon teaches courses on subjects that include agricultural engineering design, swine environmental management and ventilation of agricultural facilities. He conducts applied research on efficient and sustainable swine production systems.
Harmon is professor-in-charge of the Midwest Plan Service at Iowa State, which produces agricultural engineering publications and materials in collaboration with 12 Midwestern universities. In 2015, he was nationally recognized as the recipient of the G.B. Gunlogson Countryside Engineering Award for exemplary service to animal production systems from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. He is a Fellow of ASABE.
Harmon earned his bachelor’s degree at Purdue University, his master’s at University of Minnesota and his doctorate at Virginia Tech, all in agricultural engineering.
About Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension
Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences administers the Extension to Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program. On a daily basis, ANR Extension provides unbiased, research-based information and education to farmers, agricultural professionals, businesses, communities, consumers to grow the economic base of Iowa agriculture. ANR Extension expertise is represented by 60 on-campus faculty in 10 departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and one department in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and by 41 field specialists across Iowa providing expertise to Iowans in agricultural systems and environmental stewardship, crops, dairy, farm management, food safety, horticulture, beef (through ISU’s Iowa Beef Center), pork (through ISU’s Iowa Pork Industry Center), local foods, natural resources, poultry, equine, rural sociology and value-added agriculture.