Auburn University’s College of Agriculture
J. Mike Phillips of Mississippi State University will join Auburn University Aug. 15 as College of Agriculture associate dean for Extension and assistant director for agriculture, forestry and natural resource Extension programs.
In his new position, Phillips will be a liaison between the College of Agriculture and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES). He will coordinate and lead programs ACES carries out in collaboration with Auburn agriculture, Auburn’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and Alabama A&M University. He currently serves as head of Mississippi State’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.
Phillips, an agronomist who also will serve as professor in Auburn’s Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, said he is eager to help enhance the productivity, sustainability and profitability of the state’s agriculture and forest industries.
“My roots are deep in agriculture, forestry and natural resources,” he said. “I am most excited about working in team environments and assisting producers in Alabama by extending the most reliable, science-based information to them from our Extension professionals.”
College of Agriculture Dean Paul Patterson said he looks forward to welcoming Phillips to the college’s administrative team.
“Dr. Phillips brings extensive experience as an administrator and researcher and in Extension programming,” Patterson said. “I am excited about the leadership he will provide for Extension programs in the College of Agriculture.”
ACES Director Gary Lemme cited Phillips’ strong background in delivering programs that balance the challenges of enhancing food production while conserving natural resources.
“His commitment to agriculture and forests will increase Extension’s impact on Alabama’s economy and quality of life,” Lemme said.
Phillips holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. degree in agronomy, both from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a B.S. from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Before moving to Mississippi State, he was the Department of Agricultural Sciences chair at Kentucky’s Morehead State University. He began his career at the University of Arkansas Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope, Arkansas, where he was director and professor.
Phillips succeeds Paul Mask, who retires July 31 after 36 years of service to Auburn’s College of Agriculture and ACES.