USA Ambassador Profile
Ed Kee, a sixth generation Delawarean, served as Delaware’s Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2017, having been appointed to the post by Delaware Governor Jack Markell on January 21, 2009. Kee began his agricultural career as the Farm Manager for Nassau Orchards in Lewes, Delaware (1975 – 1978) and had a long and illustrious career with the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension (1978 – 2008). In 2004, he was appointed as the Extension Agricultural Program Leader. Following his retirement from the University of Delaware in 2008, Kee was the Director of Agriculture for Hanover Foods Corporation in Clayton, Delaware until his appointment as Secretary of Agriculture.
Ed is a nationally and internationally recognised expert on vegetable science, especially lima beans. He has also received many awards for his outstanding contributions to Delaware agriculture and public service, among them are:
Ed graduated from the University of Delaware in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Kee has two Master’s Degrees from the University of Delaware; a Master of Science in Plant Science in 1975 and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in 1996. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These include articles published in the fields of horticulture, vegetable science, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, history and civil rights.
He has lectured on agricultural or historical topics across the United States and in Mexico, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the Ukraine. In 2010, Kee served as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, which includes all 50 states and four territories. During his University career and as Secretary, Kee continues to be instrumental in attracting major food processors to Delaware, creating jobs and opportunities for Delaware producers. As Secretary, he also created the Delaware Young Farmer’s Program, enabling beginning farmers to acquire their first farm. Ed resides on a farm.
Jean Lonie was named Relationship Manager for Nuffield International in August 2018. A 2018 Nuffield Scholar from the United States, Jean earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Extension Education at The Pennsylvania State University, where she also served as Director of Student Recruitment and Activities for the College of Agricultural Sciences. Her dissertation, "Exploring the Public Value of Nuffield International Farming Scholars Program," investigated how Nuffield Scholars perceive their experience in the program in terms of contributing to public value and having significance beyond the individual participant.
Her professional background includes marketing and communications efforts for Farm Journal Media, the U.S. Holstein Association, the School District of Philadelphia, and American Mushroom Institute. In addition she was director of communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Active with the Nuffield program since 2010 when she helped coordinate the Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC) hosted in the United States, Jean served as a delegate in 2012 and helped facilitate CSCs from 2013 through 2017. In addition, Jean is an alum of the Pennsylvania Rural Leadership Program.
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