The Institute of Agriculture welcomes a new chef

Carrie Castille, who most recently served as director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the federal science agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will begin her role as senior vice chancellor and Senior Vice President of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture on July 1.

With nearly 25 years of experience in federal and state government and public higher education, Castile has earned a reputation as an expert in natural resource management and an advocate for agricultural and rural issues. His long career in public service demonstrates his deep commitment to making a lasting difference to communities and people across the country.

“Growing up in a small rural town surrounded by agriculture, I could see the value and importance of the industry every day. I have focused my career on agriculture because it is so essential to our economy and to the health and well-being of the people we serve,” Castille said. “UT Institute of Agriculture is ready to leapfrog forward in agricultural innovation, train our next generation of scientists and leaders, and meet the needs of Tennessee farmers, ranchers, families, and communities. I am honored to lead UTIA.

Castille reports to both the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the chancellor, and the president of the UT system. The position oversees and provides leadership for the Herbert College of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, UT Ag Research, and UT Extension, and is the university’s primary advocate on agricultural policy issues at the University. state support. Castille is fully responsible for the administration and management of the institute’s units, including extension offices in 95 counties, three regional extension offices, four 4-H centers and 10 agricultural research and d ‘education.

“Dr. Castille’s leadership and expertise will help UT push the boundaries of agricultural innovation and meet the needs of one of Tennessee’s oldest and most important industries,” the Chancellor said. of UT Knoxville, Donde Plowman.”I look forward to working with her to grow our workforce by graduating more students, advancing the university’s agricultural research, and supporting communities across the country. ‘State.”

When Castile’s appointment was announced in March, UT system president Randy Boyd emphasized the importance of agriculture and the role of senior vice chancellor-senior vice president. “Tennessee’s number one economic driver is agriculture, so with a presence in all 95 counties, UTIA is a critical asset to our state. Dr. Castille’s vast and varied experience in teaching, research, and outreach will be invaluable as we seek out innovative ideas to leverage the impact UTIA is already having in the lives of all Tennesseans,” Boyd said.

For Castile, the role represents a return to academia. She began her career as an assistant professor and extension manager for agricultural and natural resource cooperatives at Louisiana State University. She left academia for roles in government, first at the state level as Associate Commissioner and Science Advisor to the Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Then she began a series of presidential appointments with the USDA, becoming Louisiana State Director for Rural Development in 2017 before being named South Central Regional Coordinator (Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri) for the USDA Agricultural Production and Conservation Mission Area. in 2019. She was appointed Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture in January 2021.

In 2010, Castile was appointed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to the National Advisory Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics, a position she held until 2017. During this time, she served as Chair of the Advisory Board and was a delegate on the Council of the Association of Public Universities and Land Grants for Agricultural Research, Extension and Education. She has also served as a consultant to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Research Foundation and the USA Rice Federation.

Castille replaces Linda C. Martin, who has served in an acting role since August 2021. Martin was recently named acting chancellor of UT Southern.

A Louisiana native and first-generation college graduate, Castille holds a doctorate in renewable natural resources with a focus on environmental and public policy from Louisiana State University, a master of science in environmental studies from LSU, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2017, she became the first woman to be inducted into UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering Hall of Distinction.

Castille is expected to begin her service at UTIA with a series of visits with faculty, students, staff and stakeholders across the state. She invites everyone to follow her on Twitter @UTIAleader.


Patricia McDaniels (615-835-4570, [email protected])

Lisa Leko (865-974-8698, [email protected])

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