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Director’s Welcome

Welcome to the School of Food and AgricultureSue Erich

From the Director, Sue Erich, Professor of Plant and Soil Chemistry

The School of Food and Agriculture, with about 30 faculty members, over 400 undergraduate students, and 50 graduate students, is a dynamic learning community and a state-wide resource.  The School, formed by a merger of three departments in 2013, offers B.S. degrees in animal and veterinary sciences, environmental horticulture, food science and human nutrition, and sustainable agriculture.  We also offer, and participate in, a range of graduate programs at the certificate, M.S. and Ph.D. levels.

Our faculty work world-wide from Maine to Italy to Japan.   Our students come from our state and from across the globe. The 2013 University of Maine salutatorian, Lindsay LaJoie, of Van Buren, ME received a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition.  Lindsay will start a dietetic internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in the fall of 2013.  Nirajan Adhikari, a veterinarian by training in his home country, Nepal, is working on an M.S. degree in Animal Science in the laboratory of Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner, studying prototheca, the only algal species known to cause infectious disease in mammals.

Our research efforts focus on the sustainable production of plants and animals, on nutritious diets that promote human health and well-being, and on safety and production issues important to food and agriculturally-related businesses.  We have a longstanding ‘knowledge-to-action’ ethic and work closely with stakeholders on a range of issues central to societal priorities in Maine and the world at the beginning of the 21st century.  Our stakeholders rely on knowledge and tools from our research and outreach programs to achieve their goals.  In addition, our diverse course offerings both serve our majors and significantly enhance the environmental literacy and general knowledge of students across campus.  Our faculty and staff expertise is important to university, state and regional initiatives recognizing the value of stakeholder involvement in delivering outcomes-based research and outreach.        

It is an exciting time to be involved in food and agriculture issues!  Explore our website and visit our campus.  You will meet friendly, approachable, and interesting faculty and staff eager to answer your questions and get to know you.