Michigan State University Extension names Julia Darnton District 4 interim director

Darnton will lead MSU Extension's efforts in Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon counties.

Photo of Julia Darnton

Julia (Julie) Darnton has been selected as interim District 4 director for Michigan State University Extension. District 4 includes Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon counties. Her appointment is effective June 1, 2020.

MSU Extension, the community outreach arm of the university, helps Michigan communities, families, individuals and businesses transform and grow through locally based education. Darnton will work with local governments, nonprofits, school systems and neighborhood groups to help ensure that MSU Extension continues to fulfill this mission in the communities she serves. She will also mentor Extension staff members in the areas of program planning, delivery and evaluation, as well as professional development.

“Julie is a proven leader, and she has a deep history with MSU Extension,” said Patrick Cudney, MSU Extension associate director. “Her experience in building relationships and coaching her colleagues will serve her well in this role.”

Darnton started her career with MSU Extension in 2005 as a community and economic development intern. Over the last 15 years, she has held numerous roles, including a stint as a district director intern in 2016. Much of her work has focused on building communities through healthy food initiatives and community and economic development, including helping with the strategic planning and coordination of highly successful farmers markets in cities like Saginaw.

“Both of my parents were teachers in Flint, so education and a love for this state are ingrained in me,” Darnton said. “I look forward to expanding my role and working with my colleagues across District 4 to continue MSU Extension’s important work.”

Darnton has a degree in sociology from Albion College and a graduate degree in urban and regional planning from MSU. She replaces Mischelle Warner, who served as District 4 director since 2017.

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