2023 North Central Region Leadership Award Recipient

Jeff Jacobsen (Retired December 2022)

Former Executive Director North Central Regional Association of State Agriculture Experiment Station Directors (NCRA); Department Head of Land Resources and Environmental Studies and Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station (AES) at Montana State University (MSU)

Jeff Jacobsen served as Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station at Montana State University from 2004 through 2013. In 2014, Jeff was appointed as Executive Director of NCRA.

Jeff is a thoughtful, knowledgeable, patient, kind, and highly influential leader within the Land-grant university (LGU) system, as well as with LGU partners including USDA-NIFA, USDA-ARS, USDA-NRCS, and other key stakeholders of food and agriculture systems across our nation. He is best known for his integrity, kindness, and approachable nature that contributed to his success in facilitating discussions to identify effective solutions for challenges faced by LGUs. His ability to listen, synthesize and evaluate information, and identify approaches that are acceptable and beneficial to all parties contributed to improved partnerships, processes, accountability, and science important to improving agriculture, the environment, and people’s lives.

Jeff’s contributions as the NCRA Executive Director are extensive and cannot be fully described in this brief, but here are a few powerful examples of his impact, Jeff:

  • provided outstanding leadership and oversight of all NCRA activities including, oversight and improvements to multistate projects and committees, mentoring and guidance of new administrators and agInnovation chairs;
  • delivered exceptional leadership and direction at the national level through his service on many ESCOP committees and associated activities and initiatives;
  • initiated the ESS Finance Committee and subsequent investment of surplus funds;
  • was integral to the establishment of the Diversity Catalyst Committee;
  • co-established and led the north central Administrative Boot Camps for new administrators and LGU2U to build relationships and share valuable information on LGUs to new NIFA staff; and
  • fostered close relationships and partnerships with the 1994s in the North Central region.

Dr. Jacobsen earned a B.S. degree in soil science from California Polytechnic State University, an M.S. degree in agronomy from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in soil science from Oklahoma State University.


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