Cheryl Eschbach

Cheryl Eschbach

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Health & Nutrition Institute Director
Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture



Dr. Cheryl Eschbach is Director of Michigan State University Extension's Health and Nutrition Institute. In that administrative role since 2018, she provides leadership for community-based health, food safety, and nutrition education programming. She oversees the institute’s annual budgets, academic and non-academic staffing plans and performance management, strategic planning, stakeholder relations, statewide partnerships, research projects, content development and programmatic direction. Trained as a gerontologist, she is experienced in grant writing, program implementation, and evaluation. In her former role as an Extension Specialist, she provided evaluation leadership on many topics, including climate variability, new farmer leadership development, homeownership and financial capability, anger management, and food safety. In 2017, with colleagues, Cheryl published an innovation report in Academic Medicine proposing how the national Cooperative Extension system can serve as a model of health extension to be implemented within land-grant institutions and our nation's academic health centers and community-based medical schools. Her recent publications highlight strategies of the MSU Model of Health Extension. Cheryl is P.I./Co-P.I. on multiple funding streams that support MSU Extension’s farm stress outreach. Cheryl was P.I. and Project Director of the 2019-2022 SAMHSA-funded MiSUPER project. She is currently P.I. of the Michigan Vaccine Project.


Ph.D.  Human Development and Family Sciences (Gerontology), Oregon State University.
M.S.    Family Sciences and Gerontology, Oregon State University.
B.A.    Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology, Oakland University.

Research Interests

Aging and health; participatory and community-engaged research; Health Extension; connecting primary care with community-based education programs; program evaluation methods.


Eschbach, C., Arnetz, B., & Arnetz, J. (2023). Designing and evaluating opioid misuse prevention training for rural communities and health care providers. Health Promotion Practice.

Eschbach, C. L., Contreras, D. A. & Kennedy, L. E. (2022) Three Cooperative Extension initiatives funded to address Michigan’s opioid crisis. Frontiers in Public Health, 10:921919.

Eschbach, C. L., Cuthbertson, C., Shelle, G., & Bates, R. O. (2022). Expanding effective behavioral health literacy programs to address farm stress. Journal of Extension, 60(2), Article 19.

Cuthbertson, C., Eschbach, C. & Shelle, G. (2021). Addressing farm stress through Extension mental health literacy programs. Journal of Agromedicine.

Tiret, H., Eschbach, C., Nichols, A., Smith, B., Riffe, J., & Clark-Jones, T. (2021). Lessons from two states with Extension programs for managing stress. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 9(1), 94-108

Burton, D., Canton, A., Coon, T., Eschbach, C., Gunn, J., Gutter, M., Jones, M., Kennedy, L., Martin, K., Mitchell, A., O’Neal, L., Rennekamp, R., Rodgers, M., Stluka, S., Trautman, K., Yelland, E., & York, D. (2021) Cooperative Extension’s National Framework for Health Equity and Well-Being. [Report of the Health Innovation Task Force] Extension Committee on Organization and Policy: Washington, DC Available at

Tobe, E., Eschbach, C., Weber, R., Ortquist, J., & Hendrian, W. (2021). Behavior change for low-income individuals resulting from a Cooperative Extension financial capability program. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning. Full Text

Khan, T., Eschbach, C., Cuthbertson, C. Newkirk, C., Contreras, D., & Kirley, K. (2020). Connecting primary care to community-based education: Michigan physicians’ familiarity with Extension programs. Health Promotion and Practice, 21(2), 175-180. DOI: 10.1177/1524839919868980

Eschbach, C. L., Tiret, H., Carter, E., & Newkirk, C. (2019). Preparing Extension educators for community-based research and grant partnerships. Journal of Extension, 57(6). Retrieved from

Tiret, H., Eschbach, C. L., & Newkirk, C. (2019). Rx for Health Referral Tool Kit techniques to promote Extension programs. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 7(3), 173-185. 

Hetherington, C., Eschbach, C. L., & Cuthbertson, C. (2019). How evaluation capacity building contributes to credible evidence for Cooperative Extension programs. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 7(2), 175-188. 

Wardynski, F. A., Isleib, J. D., & Eschbach, C. (2018). Evaluating five years of beginning farmer webinar training impacts. Journal of Extension, 56(6). Retrieved from

Eschbach, C., Carter, E., Newkirk, C., Tiret, H., Millet, M., Cronk, L., & Dwyer, J. (2018). Using speed meetings to connect Extension experts with university health researchers. Journal of Extension, 56(4). Article 20.

Waitrovich, B., Shelle, G., Eschbach, C., & Nichols, J. (2018). Cottage Food Law program expands outreach through online delivery. Journal of the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, 13, 84-100. Retrieved from  

Doll, J., Eschbach, C., & DeDecker, J. (2018). Using dialogue to engage agricultural audiences in cooperative learning about climate change. Journal of Extension, 56(2). Retrieved from

Working Differently in Extension podcast about this article, at

Dwyer, J., Contreras, D., Eschbach, C., Tiret, H., Newkirk, C., Carter, E., & Cronk, L. (2017, Sep/Oct). Cooperative Extension as a Framework for Health Extension. Annals of Family Medicine. Published letter.

Dwyer, J., Contreras, D., Eschbach, C., Tiret, H, Newkirk, C, Carter, E., & Cronk, L. (2017). Cooperative Extension as a framework for health extension: The Michigan State University Model. Academic Medicine, 92, 1416-1420. DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001640 Retrieved from

Eschbach, C. L., Weber, R., Tobe, E., Hale, L. & Washington, V. (2016). Evaluating an outcomes-based standardized homeownership education program. Family Consumer Science Research Journal, 45: 138–149.

Pish, S., Clark-Jones, T., Eschbach, C., & Tiret, H. (2016). Anger management program participants gain behavioral changes in interpersonal relationships. Journal of Extension, 54(5). Article 25.

Eschbach, C. L., Sirrine, J. R., Lizotte, Erin, & Rothwell, N. L. (2016). Participatory data collection technique for capturing beginning farmer program outcomes. Journal of Extension, 54(4). Article 9.

Sirrine, J R., Eschbach, C. L., Lizotte, Erin, & Rothwell, N. L. (2016). The New FARM Program: A model for supporting diverse emerging farmers and early-career Extension professionals. Journal of Extension, 54(4). Article 22.