Metzger Tabbed to Help Lead Agriculture, Extension Activities at K-State

Manhattan, Kan. — Kansas State University has named a seasoned scientist and water policy professional as its new associate director for agriculture and extension.

Susan Metzger said she looks forward to strengthening and creating partnerships for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension in support of agriculture and natural resources.

Metzger previously served as the senior executive administrator to Ernie Minton, dean of K-State’s College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. In her new position, Metzger will support the college and extension with government relations, stakeholder outreach and strategic planning.

She will continue to assist in the implementation of the College of Agriculture’s comprehensive master infrastructure campaign, as well as the K-State Plan for Economic Prosperity.

She will also serve as the director for the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment (KCARE) and the Kansas Water Resources Institute (KWRI) where she secures and administers funding for KWRI, the Fertilizer Research Fund and the Ogallala Aquifer Program; and works closely with a team of watershed specialists to improve water quality throughout the state.

As director, Metzger said her goal is to expand awareness of the resources available through KCARE to coordinate and enhance research, extension and teaching activities pertaining to environmental issues related to agriculture.

“These positions are interconnected,” Minton said. “The person needed to do this work must have both a strong science background and have deep strengths in leadership and policy making to understand what needs to be done and how to make it happen. That’s Susan.”

Before joining K-State in 2018, Metzger served as deputy secretary for the Kansas Department of Agriculture where she served farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses of Kansas and worked to build the state’s agricultural economy.

While there, she led the agency’s policy evaluation and development related to water and natural resources, coordinated with the Kansas Legislature and Congress, and served as team leader on the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water Supply in Kansas.

Metzger has served as a scientist and leader in water resource planning for more than 25 years. Among her previous positions, she was chief of planning and policy for the Kansas Water Office and an environmental scientist for the Kansas Water Office, Burgess and Niple, and Geo-Marine.

She serves on four boards – Service Member Agricultural Vocation Education, Earth’s Harvest, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association and the Center for Sorghum Improvement.

Metzger earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Mary Washington, a master’s degree in biological sciences from Old Dominion University and a doctorate in leadership communications from K-State.