Agriculture Secretary names Kannan to top Board

March 14, 2014 - Dr. Govind Kannan, Fort Valley State University’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, is joining the exclusive ranks of a federal advisory board that helps set national agricultural policies.

This week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack appointed the FVSU official to the National Agricultural, Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.  Kannan will serve a two-year term on the board from 2014 to 2016.

“To be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the national advisory board is a great privilege,” Kannan said. “It is a significant recognition for me, not only as a professional, but also for our institution, which provided me opportunities for growth.”

The 25-member NAREEE Advisory Board’s primary objective is to form policies that will shape federal agricultural research, education and economics programs. Board participants include a broad range of stakeholders from land-grant institutions, national nutritional science societies, national human health associations, American Colleges of Veterinary Medicine, national farm associations and other groups.

“This important appointment is a personal tribute to Dr. Kannan’s recognized expertise and leadership on the national agricultural landscape, in its instructional, research, and policy components,” said Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, president of FVSU. “It also testifies to the importance of our university in the practical and policy aspects of the agricultural enterprise.”

Kannan was recommended to serve on the board by Dr. Ann Bartuska, a USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics. Bartuska visited FVSU campus a few years ago, and was impressed with the administrator’s leadership and the agricultural and small ruminant program at the university.

Kannan is a seasoned professional with rich expertise in the fields of agriculture and animal science.  The interim vice president has held several administrative positions at FVSU, including serving as the coordinator for the Animal Science undergraduate and graduate programs, director of the Georgia Small Ruminant Research and Extension Center, chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and assistant dean for research. The administrator also is a tenured, full professor and dean of FVSU’s College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology.

The professional continues to serve as an advocate for applied research and outreach programs that empower small and underrepresented famers, providing them with the technical skills needed to run successful agricultural enterprises. Last year, Kannan delivered a keynote presentation in Qingdao, China on “Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives at FVSU,” and was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his efforts to strengthen global food security.

The administrator is involved in several professional societies, including serving as the program chair for the American Society of Animal Science Small Ruminant. He helped organize a Small Ruminant Symposium at the group’s 2013 ASAS/ADSA Joint Annual Meetings in Indianapolis, Ind.

Under Kannan’s administration, the university’s global outreach has expanded.  Currently, an increased number of FVSU scientists travel to other countries to conduct training programs.  Additionally, international scientists travel to the campus to visit the Small Ruminant Research Center to learn about sustainable goat and sheep production methods.

“I am proud of Dr. Kannan—and of all the other colleagues who labor in the various aspects of this crucial area of our institutional mission, which is intimately connected with the lives and livelihood of millions of Georgians and people across our nation and around the world,” Griffith said. “Moreover, this new role will enable us to strengthen the national and international links of the proposed Center for Homeland and Global Food Security,." 

For more information, contact Kannan at (478) 825-6330 or





Christina D. Milton, writer/Social Media Specialist

Fort Valley State University 
Office of Marketing and Communications

(478) 825-6319,

Published Date: 

Friday, March 14, 2014 - 18:45