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New MSU Extension Field Crops Educator in the Thumb
Michigan Ag Connection - 01/18/2022

Kaleb Ortner has been named one of the two new field crop educators hired by Michigan State University Extension in District 10 (Tuscola, Huron, Sanilac, Lapeer and St. Clair counties). He will work out of the Tuscola County MSU Extension office in Caro. Thanks to funding provided by the Michigan Soybean Committee, 50% of Ortner's appointment will be dedicated to soybean research and education. He will work closely with Mike Staton, MSU Extension soybean educator, and Mark Seamon, Michigan Soybean Committee research director with on-farm research.

"I am also in the process of becoming the precision agriculture specialist," Ortner reports. "This role will allow me to improve the Michigan Soybean On-farm Research program with the Michigan Soybean Committee, while also being able to give support to farmers adopting these practices."

Originally from Unionville, Mich., which is about 25 minutes from the Caro office and a part of the area he'll be serving, Ortner completed his bachelor's degree in crop and soil sciences from MSU in 2019. After graduating, he began work on a master's degree in crop and soil sciences working under Karen Renner and Alexandra Kravchenko. His research was focused on transitioning fields with diverse topography to organic production.

Additionally, he has worked extensively with cover crops to expand the growing season by interseeding corn. After graduation last August, he returned to Unionville to farm some acres himself before joining the MSU Extension.

"I am here to help you in any way that I can. Please contact me (989-450-7993 or ortnerka@msu.edu) or any of our educators to ask what MSU Extension can do for you. Thank you," said Ortner.


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