MSU Names New Director of Animal
Agriculture Environmental Stewardship
Dr. Wendy Powers, formerly associate professor of animal science and agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State University, is the new director of the program for environmental stewardship for animal agriculture and professor of animal science and biosystems and agricultural engineering at Michigan State University.
“I am excited to be joining Michigan State because of the caliber of the institution and the departments I am joining, and also because of the diversity of agriculture in Michigan,” Powers said. “That diversity offers both unique challenges and unique opportunities. My goal is to facilitate a coordinated effort to address animal production environmental issues by working with clients to implement technology as it is developed and by working with policy-makers to convey science-based information so that relevant and effective policy can be developed.”
A national expert on evaluating air quality for livestock, Powers uses a multispecies approach in her research to address environmental issues that affect animal agriculture. She will work closely with other MSU researchers to evaluate the impact of air and water quality on human health.
“Dr. Powers will develop a cutting-edge program that links animal agriculture, the environment and human health using an interdisciplinary, integrated approach,” said Jeffrey Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “Her work will provide science-based information that will ultimately benefit all animal producers in the state.”
As director of environmental stewardship for animal agriculture, Powers will work to influence policy and practices that will mitigate and improve the effects of livestock production on the environment. She will have a leadership role in developing collaborative, multidisciplinary research and outreach programs focused on enhancing environmental stewardship in Michigan’s animal agriculture industry.
“I am thrilled that we were able to attract Dr. Powers to MSU,” said Karen Plaut, chairperson of the Department of Animal Science. “Her expertise in air quality and her understanding of the environmental issues that are facing animal agriculture ensure that Michigan producers will continue to be seen as leaders in the stewardship of our land, air and water.”
A prolific author and speaker, Powers is a current and former member of numerous professional associations and government committees, including the Iowa State University College of Agriculture Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations Response Team, the Iowa State University College of Agriculture/University of Iowa Department of Public Health/State of Iowa Air Quality Task Force, the Iowa Nutrient Management Task Force, the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Air Emissions from Animal Feed Operations, the American Dairy Science Association/American Society of Animal Science Program Committee for Contemporary and Emerging Issues (chair in 2003-04), and the Environmental Protection Agency Safe Harbor Monitoring Plan Committee.
Powers had been at Iowa State since 1997, first as assistant professor, then associate professor. In 2006, she received a Standards Developer Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; in 2004, she received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Iowa Academy of Science, and in 2003, she received the Iowa State University Foundation Award for Outstanding Early Achievement in Extension and the American Society of Animal Science Midwestern Section Young Extension Specialist Award.
Powers received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from Cornell University in 1989 and both her master’s degree in dairy science and her doctorate in animal science from the University of Florida, in 1993 and 1997, respectively.
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