STARKVILLE (AP) – Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum will serve three years on the board of the newly created Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.
The university says Wednesday that U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Keenum to the 15-member national board.
The nonprofit foundation was created by the 2014 federal farm bill and will seek ways to increase research and innovation.
Keenum was chief of staff for Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran from 1996 to 2006, after having worked as an agriculture adviser on Cochran’s staff. Keenum was an undersecretary in the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2006 until he was chosen as MSU president in November 2008.
Cochran, a lead negotiator on the farm bill, says Keenum brings “a breadth of knowledge and experience” to the new board.