MSU colleges name governmental affairs and stakeholder relations director

Dru Montri, executive director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association, was named director of governmental affairs and stakeholder relations for the Michigan State University colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine.

December 1, 2017 - Author: Eileen Gianiodis

Dru Montri

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Dru Montri, executive director of the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA), was named director of governmental affairs and stakeholder relations for the Michigan State University (MSU) colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) and Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Her appointment will be effective Jan. 8, 2018.

Montri has managed the Michigan Farmers Market Association since its inception. Her responsibilities there included providing overall leadership to MIFMA through long-term strategic planning to achieve its mission. At MIFMA, she managed staff members and volunteers, developed and maintained sound financial practices, oversaw membership recruitment and retention, promoted Michigan farmers and farmers markets, and directed special events such as the Farmers Markets at the Capitol. At the same time, she has remained involved with the Michigan meat industry through her role as executive secretary of the Michigan Meat Association.

“Dr. Montri understands our land-grant mission – the teaching, research and outreach – and she also understands our stakeholders and our industries. We’re looking forward to her becoming an important member of the team,” said Ron Hendrick, CANR dean.

Montri said she is looking forward to building on the relationships she’s developed during her tenure at MIFMA and through her service on the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to build on the skillset I’ve developed, to maintain the strong relationships I’ve built across the food system, and to challenge myself with new initiatives for a university and industries that I am so passionately committed to,” she said.

At the state and federal levels, Montri coordinated support for the farmers market industry in a variety of ways, including:

  • Developing and implementing educational programs.
  • Providing training and technical assistance to farmers market managers and market vendors.
  • Developing programming and resources to increase the number of Michigan farmers markets accepting food assistance benefits.
  • Leading farmers market research projects and offering market evaluation services.

“I am pleased that Dr. Montri has agreed to become the new director of governmental affairs and stakeholder relations,” said John Baker, CVM dean. “She has an impressive command of the challenges and opportunities facing our colleges and the agricultural industry, and brings a diverse set of experiences to this position.”

Montri has a background in horticulture, receiving her bachelor’s degree from MSU, her master’s degree from Penn State and her doctorate from MSU. She and her husband also own and operate Ten Hens Farm in Bath, Michigan. She replaces Mike Kovacic, who retired last year.

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