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Meet the Employees of the Kellogg Farm and Pasture Dairy Center
Brook Wilke, Ph.D., Kellogg Farm Manager
Dr. Brook Wilke earned a Ph.D. in Agroecology at the Kellogg Biological Station in 2010 and continues to serve KBS in the role of Farm Manager (2013-present). Brook oversees farm operations for the Kellogg Farm and Pasture Dairy Center, and organizes cropping system and livestock research. In addition to growing up on a family scale crop and livestock farm, Dr. Wilke has extensive experience in agricultural systems ranging from organic vegetables and local markets to pasture based livestock, including educational activities related to these systems.
Howard Straub III, Pasture Dairy Center Manager
Howard earned his Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University in 1998. Before coming to the Pasture Dairy Center, he grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Clinton County, MI and has also operated other pasture dairy facilities. Howard oversees the operations of the Pasture Dairy Center, along with animal management & welfare. He is also responsible for the management of the pasture grazing system, and conducts outreach with industry professionals in area of robotic milking and grazing systems. In his spare time, he travels throughout the US training cows and farmers about how to integrate and use automatic milking system (AMS) aka robots, like the ones that are present at the Pasture Dairy Center.
Follow Howard on Twitter @RobotGrazier
Cheyenne Ryzenga, Pasture Dairy Center Assistant Manager
Cheyenne Ryzenga earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Michigan State University in 2013 with a concentration in animal biology and pre-veterinary medicine. Cheyenne started at the Pasture Dairy Center after graduation as the Pasture Management and Outreach intern and now plays a major role in the daily activities and research projects done on the farm. Occasionally she helps with the start-ups of new robots on other dairies. In her spare time, Cheyenne likes to take her Quarter Horse, Lightning, on trail rides.
Tyson Robbins, Crops Assistant Manager
Tyson Robbins serves as an Assistant Manager at the Kellogg Farm, focusing on crop production and crop research support. Tyson earned his B.S. degree in Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State, and has over 10 years of experience with crop and forage production.
Misty Klotz, Outreach Coordinator
Misty Klotz is an experienced educator with a demonstrated history of working in Community Outreach and has served KBS from 2013 to the present. At the Kellogg Farm she coordinates on site farmer education programs and tours. She provides education programs on agriculture, food and natural resources to School-based and public audiences. Misty earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from The Evergreen State College in 2006. (Olympia, Washington).
The Kellogg Farm has organized a Research Advisory Committee in efforts to carry forward the legacy of agricultural research, and to improve the ability to serve the needs of future individuals and programs, particularly related to agroecology and sustainable agriculture research. The specific goals of the Kellogg Farm Research Advisory Committee are to assist Farm Manager, Dr. Brook Wilke, with the following topics:
- Coordination of research activities and directions at the Kellogg Farm, particularly related to the Farming Systems Center and the Pasture Dairy Center
- Development and maintenance of infrastructure to support research
- Evaluation of site use fees
- Promotion of research opportunities at the Kellogg Farm
- Evaluation of research proposals
Committee members are expected to be present at one committee meeting per year, held in the winter at KBS. Members are also expected to attend at least one Kellogg Farm Open House event per year. Perhaps most importantly, members will need to be available for individual consultation with Dr. Wilke regarding questions or concerns that arise throughout the year.
Current Committee Members
- Dean Baas (MSU Extension)
- Paul Bartlett DVM (Veterinary Medicine)
- Ron Bates (MSUE)
- Dan Brainard (Horticulture)
- Kim Cassida (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences)
- Stuart Grandy (University of New Hampshire)
- Sasha Kravchenko (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences)
- Steve Hamilton (KBS & Integrative Biology)
- Phil Robertson (KBS & Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences)
- George Smith (AgBioResearch)
- Kurt Thelen (Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences)