Two administrators will join the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences as department heads.
Leslie Edgar will join the college in March 1 as the new head of the agricultural leadership, education and communication department. Francis Fluharty will join the faculty May 1 as the new head of the animal and dairy science department.
Edgar is currently a professor and assistant dean for student programs in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.
While at Arkansas, she served as a member of the dean’s leadership team, and as a representative of the dean, in developing the direction, policies and operations of the Bumpers College Honors Program and the International Programs Office. She also served as the primary point of contact for Bumpers College students and faculty interested in international experiences or the honors program to enhance the marketability of UARK students for professional careers associated with their majors.
Fluharty is currently a research professor in the animal sciences department at The Ohio State University.
His career has been devoted to assisting food animal producers through research and educational programs aimed at improving animal health and growth. Fluharty has also worked to improve profitability, as food animal agriculture must be economically-sustainable for farm families.
His primary research interest is determining the main nutritional factors impacting animal health and growth. He has also studied the nutritional and immunological factors that affect fat deposition and meat characteristics in ruminants. This research is essential as many consumers now demand that production practices enhance the health and welfare of animals.
Fluharty is a co-inventor of two patents for genetic marker processes and DNA sequences to detect an animal’s potential for both marbling and tenderness. He also helped develop an all-natural branded beef program, Ohio Signature Beef, designed to improve profits for family farm owners who produce cattle without the use of hormone implants or antibiotics.