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March 19, 2021

The University of Vermont today announced the appointment of Fitzroy B. “Roy” Beckford, Ph.D., as associate dean and director of UVM Extension in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Beckford to the UVM and UVM Extension communities,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “I believe deeply in Extension’s value to the state and its ability to help UVM fulfill its land-grant mission. Dr. Beckford’s leadership, experience and integrated approach will strengthen this, while aligning seamlessly with the Amplifying Our Impact vision.”

Beckford spent over a decade with the University of Florida Extension as a county Extension director managing work in the areas of agriculture, natural resources, horticultural sciences, marine and aquatic environments, 4-H youth development, family and consumer sciences, food systems, small farms initiatives, and environmental sustainability. During his tenure as the state Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program leader at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s (NCAT) College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, he provided administrative, financial, marketing and communications leadership, and was responsible for the ANR program’s $9.5 million grant portfolio.

Beckford also brings a global perspective and an impressive record of setting up successful outreach programs and making lasting, impactful changes. He has worked in agricultural consulting around the world, including service with the government of the British Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, as well as in Qatar and Belize.

“Dr. Beckford has been described as a visionary and a change agent, someone who has made a lasting positive impact in his previous extension roles,” said Leslie Parise, Dean of CALS and interim director of UVM Extension.

Vern Grubinger, Extension Professor and chair of the search committee, noted that “Roy Beckford’s many years of on-the-ground Extension experience delivering programs on everything from veterinary services, to agricultural diversification, to renewable energy will serve him well in this position.”

Beckford said, “It is my honor to join you at the University of Vermont, and I look forward to embarking on an exciting new journey with the entrepreneurial minds in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. I can think of no better place to call my new home than UVM Extension.”

Beckford’s hire will augment work already underway in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to build and expand coalitions with stakeholders including state and federal agencies, local governments, nonprofit and private sector and commodity organizations.

Beckford will join UVM on May 1, and succeeds Chuck Ross who stepped down from this role in June 2020.

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