His appointment begins July 1. DeDecker comes to Nevada from Michigan State University, where he has spent the past 16 years building 4-H youth outreach and development programs, most recently as associate director of the Institute of Children and Youth and MSU’s Head of State 4-H Youth Development Extension Program.
He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in animal science, as well as a certificate in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In his appointment as Director of Extension, DeDecker will have offices both on the Reno campus and at Extension’s Lifelong Learning Center in Las Vegas. As the statewide Extension leader, he will also visit the many other Extension offices across the state and serve as Extension’s liaison with numerous organizations, including the Association of Counties of Nevada and the USDA, Extension being a state-county-federal partnership.
DeDecker began his career with Extension at MSU as head of the 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology program in 2006, and became the associate head of state in 2014, before assuming his current role in 2018. DeDecker has provided leadership, vision and direction to the program’s more than 150 faculty and staff and 10,000 volunteers.
While in Michigan, DeDecker also supported efforts that extended far beyond Michigan’s borders. Its support of international collaborations and partnerships has brought MSU Extension’s knowledge and resources directly to leaders and practitioners in Guatemala, Iran, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and from Uzbekistan.
DeDecker sits on several national, regional and MSU committees and has taken advantage of a multitude of training and special programs to broaden his knowledge and extend the reach of his extension work.
He is a graduate of Coming Together for Racial Understanding, a national outreach program that helps participants develop skills in multicultural communication and interaction, so they can help organize, convene and lead efforts to bring people together. people for conversations on difficult issues.