Dr. Mark Cochran, head of the U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, introduced his retirement efficient Sept. 30. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photograph)
LITTLE ROCK — After guiding the College of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture by way of a decade of progress, Vice chairman for agriculture, Dr. Mark J. Cochran, will retire efficient Sept. 30.
Beneath his management as a UA System Vice chairman, Cochran inspired The enlargement of the entrepreneurship and commercialization of evaluation merchandise and fought exhausting To buy funding to proceed the Division of Agriculture’s evaluation and extension work, enabling The conventional land grant mission To primarytain strong in Arkansas.
“After 39 rewarding years Inside the College of Arkansas System, retirement Isn’t A selection that was made casually or in haste,” he said. “It’s been an honor To steer the Division of Agriculture And there is nonetheless a lot That Can be accomplished. However, the time has come to move on that obligation to The subsequent chief of the division and to take pleasure in time with my household And notably my granddaughter.”
Cochran said A pair of of the fulfilling elements about his time Contained in the Division of Agriculture was that its people and work “in all probability contact extra lives than Ancompletely different institution in greater education.”
“We’re The one greater education institution that has school and staff in all 75 counties of Arkansas and packages that attain from cradle into maturity,” he said. “I’m notably Joyful with the influence made on youth by our 4-H program And the method that influence will proceed into The Prolonged time period.”
Through the outattain of the Cooperative Extension Service and the evaluation from the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, Cochran said he was Joyful with the division’s position in offering Arkansas’ largest enterprise with very important, science-based mostly biggest practices and new utilized sciences and by serving the state Inside the continuous enhancement in sustainability and pure useful resource administration.
“Our work startworks with the evaluation discoveries and ends with extension education,” Cochran said. “From the work of the 4-H program To rearrange youthful people To fulfill the world’s challenges, to our many extension and evaluation packages Which have enhanced lives Of people throughout the state and enhanced financial vibrance of our communities, the division does what no completely different group in Arkansas can do and is A very distinctive An factor of the UA System.”
“The land grant mission is as related right now As a Outcome of it was At first,” Cochran said. “We’re fortunate to have extremely licensed school, county brokers, staff and management Who’re properly positioned to proceed to make a distinction for Arkansans of all walks of life in all counties of the state.”
Cochran said he was furtherly Joyful with the partworknerships the division has with UA-Fayetteville, UA-Monticello and Arkansas State College To Guarantee extreme-extreme quality education For school youthfulsters in agriculture, forestry and life sciences.
Cochran counts as Definitely one of his most prized achievements as A school member was the creation of the COTMAN program, which earned him each a John W. White Group award and Arkansas Cotton Achievement in 1999. COTMAN is A Laptop Pc system Aimed in the direction of serving to cotton growers make greater administration selections For his or her crop, partworkicularly The prime-of-season selections on when to time periodinate insect administration, startwork harvest And the method administration practices can alter the crop’s enhancement.
Amongst Cochran’s accomplishments was attaining The primary enhance Inside the Division of Agriculture’s recurring funds In further than a decade. Beneath his management, division school and staff Tailored in-particular person actions to on-line platforms to proceed delivering providers as COVID-19 emerged, whereas concurrently restructuring and merging all of its enterprise and human useful assets features into one system for greater transparency.
Advocate for Arkansas ag, rural communities
In his position, Cochran primarytained the Division of Agriculture’s Think about its mission to agriculture and rural communities in Arkansas.
“Dr. Cochran has been an unabashed cheerchief for Arkansas agriculture For a few years, and he Shall be missed,” said Dr. Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the College of Arkansas System. “Although conducts his enterprise in A very calm and expert method, Dr. Cochran is a fierce advocate for the wants of the farming group On this state.
“The itemizing of advances Which have occurred all by way of his time as Vice chairman is certainly spectacular They typically embrace the recruitment of distinguished scientists to the state, As properly as to the formation and funding Of latest State-of-the-artwork evaluation farms to assist trendy agriculture. Dr. Cochran achieved all this all by way of a interval of flat or declining state funding which makes his accomplishments All of the extra distinctive.”
Bobbitt said “the Board of Trustees And that i now have the troublesome process of making an try To commerce Dr. Cochran with somebody who shares each his technical expertise, As properly as to his love for this state and its farming communities.”
Bobbitt said He’ll spend The subsequent few weeks visiting with stakeholders throughout the UA System and the state’s agricultural group To Search out out steps for figuring out The subsequent chief of the division.
Joined in 1982
Cochran’s tenure as system Vice chairman startworked in January 2011. He had beforehand served as affiliate Vice chairman and head of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the evaluation arm of the Division of Agriculture. Earlier to his appointment as AVP, Cochran spent a decade as head of the departworkment of agriculture and agrienterprise On the College of Arkansas.
From August 1987 to August 1988, Cochran was a visiting professor at Texas A&M Inside the departworkment of agricultural financials. His evaluation focused on the incorporation of hazard administration factors into professional methods and simulation fashions. He joined the division in 1982 as an assistant professor in what was then referred to as the Departworkment of agricultural financials and rural sociology.
An Arizona native, Cochran earned a bachelor’s in agricultural financials from New Mexico State. At Michigan State College, he earned a grasp’s in agricultural financials and a minor in environmental and pure useful resource financials. He earned his Ph.D. in agricultural financials, with minors in environmental and pure useful resource financials, manufacturing financials, public coverage, and methods science.