Caribou Native Named Dean of University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Caribou, Maine native Hannah Carter has been named dean of University of Maine Cooperative Extension, effective May 1. Carter received her Ph.D. and master’s degree in agricultural education and communication, specializing in agricultural leadership and Extension education, from the University of Florida, and has been a member of the UF community since 1997. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Carter is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida (UF), which is part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). She also directs UF’s Wedgworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, and is interim director of the UF/IFAS Center for Leadership.

“For more than a decade, Dr. Carter has been involved in leadership development programming on state and national levels, particularly as it pertains to agriculture and Cooperative Extension,” says Jeffrey Hecker, UMaine executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “She also knows UMaine Extension and the difference it can make — from 4-H, the most successful out-of-school youth education program in Maine, to the integrated pest management program that supports the state’s agriculture industries. The fact that, following an extensive national search, the candidate who rose to the top of the applicant pool has deep roots in Maine is the icing on the cake. We are thrilled that Hannah will return to her home state to lead the university’s most extensive community outreach enterprise.”

In UF’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, Carter’s focus has been on creating and delivering Extension leadership development programs for internal and external audiences. As a tenured faculty member, her undergraduate and graduate teaching in leadership development includes a graduate course in Extension administration.

The Wedgworth Leadership Institute focuses on developing capabilities of leaders in Florida’s agriculture and natural resources industries. Carter creates leadership development programming for institute participants, and conducts additional leadership workshops nationwide.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, where Carter is interim director of the Center for Leadership, is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to “developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible,” according to the university’s website.

Carter’s research specializations include leadership programming for adults, motivations of adult learners, and leadership development in agricultural industries. She has received numerous awards for research papers and presentations, and in June she was presented the Outstanding Educator Award by the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.

“I have a passion for people, for agriculture and for 4-H, and I am so excited for the opportunity to return home and apply all my experiences for the benefit of the state of Maine. This position is one that I aspired to, and I look forward to beginning my new position in May,” Carter says.