Writer: Nena Singleton
U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture I. Miley Gonzalez, former associate agriculture dean at New Mexico State University, has been named among the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine.
Gonzalez, who is on leave from his NMSU position, was recognized in the magazine's October 1998 issue along with successful Hispanics from around the nation such as White House Deputy Chief of Staff Maria Echaveste, movie star Cameron Diaz, author Sandra Cisneros, and Kellogg Co. President Carlos Gutierrez.
"I appreciate the honor bestowed upon me by Hispanic Business magazine. My commitment to strengthen our country's agriculture research and education portfolio is strong. It is imperative that our country work to attract young people, particularly from groups that are now under-represented in the agricultural and natural resource sciences, to meet the demands of a workforce for a global marketplace," Gonzalez said.
As under secretary for research, education and economics in the USDA, Gonzalez oversees four major agencies with a total budget of $1.7 billion. The agencies are the Agricultural Research Service, the Economic Research Service, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service, which links USDA research, extension and education programs by working with land-grant universities.
Since stepping into the under secretary post in August 1997, Gonzalez has called for more research and education to prepare the country's agricultural community for the 21st century and to strengthen partnerships among educational institutions, commodity groups and Congress.
"Research, extension and education in agriculture are keys to furthering U.S. leadership in today's global marketplace," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez held a variety of positions at NMSU before he was named associate dean and director for academic programs in the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics in 1986: deputy director of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, head of the agricultural and extension education department, and the college's international programs director.
Before joining NMSU, he held positions at Iowa State University and the Consortium for International Development. The Arizona native who grew up on a ranch near San Simon earned bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Arizona and a doctorate in agriculture and extension education from Pennsylvania State University.
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