Doug Reinemann, chair of the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, has been named CALS associate dean for extension and outreach. In this role, Reinemann will be in charge of the organization, content, and effectiveness of the college’s extension and outreach programs, as well as aligning CALS programs with those of UW-Extension Cooperative Extension.
Reinemann joined the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and Cooperative Extension in 1990. Since then, Reinemann has served as a professor and a UW-Extension milking equipment/energy specialist. His research and outreach experience has largely focused on machine milking systems, rural energy issues, renewable energy technology and sustainable biofuels production.
“Doug comes to the position with experience both in administration from his department chair role and in extension and outreach from his years on the faculty. So he is already starting with a great appreciation of the impact of the college’s activities on our many partners outside of the university – and the impact of that engagement on the activities and scholarship of CALS faculty and staff,” says CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch.
The scope of the position is solely focused on the extension and outreach activities of CALS. Responsibilities related to the oversight of Cooperative Extension personnel on other campuses and in the counties, which were previously significant components of the associate dean position, now fall to two recently-created and filled Cooperative Extension associate dean positions.
“This is a time of multiple transitions for Cooperative Extension – the implementation of an internal reorganization, changes to the staffing plan in counties, and a return of Cooperative Extension under the roof of UW-Madison,” notes VandenBosch. “Doug’s experience will help maintain the strong partnership of Extension with CALS. At the same time, the new CALS-specific focus of this position expands his capacity to provide leadership, vision and support for college-based outreach efforts.”
Reinemann, who grew up in Sheboygan county surrounded by relatives and friends engaged in agriculture, has spent a good portion of his career focused on sustainability. In the early 2000s, he organized the Green Cheese Project, bringing together a diverse group of UW experts to help respond to a request from the dairy community: To quantify the carbon footprint and sustainability of Wisconsin’s dairy industry, and assess the environmental impact of integrating dairy and biofuel production systems. He is also a member of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center’s sustainability group, a group tasked with examining environmental impacts of biofuels production systems, and served as the group’s leader for five years.
Outreach has always been an important component of Reinemann’s work. Over the years, he has created various Extension programs for industry stakeholders that have been shared broadly. His “MilkTech” programs, for instance, were developed in dialog with industry to meet the needs of milking machine technicians, and these programs continue to be delivered around the state, as well as nationally and internationally.
Reinemann’s vision for the future involves a healthy, resilient and responsive approach to extension and outreach.
“I’m excited to serve in this position because I understand the important role that outreach and extension have played and can continue to play in connecting the university with the people of the state,” says Reinemann. “We need to be responsive to immediate needs; answering today’s questions. We also need to be forward-looking and working to answer tomorrow’s questions as they arise.”
Reinemann earned his B.S. and M.S. in agricultural engineering at UW-Madison, and his Ph.D. in agricultural engineering at Cornell University.
He will assume the associate dean position on January 1, 2018 and will have an office in Ag Hall.