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 was named as Nuffield’s first delegate from the United States of America in 2012, building on her experiences as part of the 2010 Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference planning team. She also served as a conference facilitator for Nuffield from 2014 through 2017. She is currently engaged with the organization as vice president of the Nuffield International U.S. affiliate board.
Outside of her Nuffield work, Jean is the Director of Student Recruitment and Activities for the College of Agricultural Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. In this role, she serves as an ambassador for the College, meeting with prospective students and families, educational professionals, allied industry and alums, with a focus on sharing the story of the myriad of opportunities available through the College and the agricultural sciences industry.
Prior to joining the Penn State family, Jean worked in both the public and private sectors with a focus on agricultural communications, outreach and policy. Previous roles include serving as the senior marketing communications manager for Zoetis, overseeing products in the U.S. beef market, and executive assistant to the Secretary and director of communications for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. She has also worked for Farm Journal Media, Holstein Association USA, the School District of Philadelphia/W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, and the American Mushroom Institute.
In addition to her professional roles, Jean is a Ph.D. candidate in the Agricultural and Extension Education program at Penn State. Her research focuses on the public value of global agricultural capacity building programs, and the significance of programs like Nuffield for the participants, their communities and the larger agriculture industry. She also holds a B.S. in agriculture from the University of Delaware and an MBA in management from Eastern University (PA).
Jean works with the PA FFA Association and PA 4-H programs, and is an alum of and board member for the PA Rural-Urban Leadership program (PA RULE). She is a member of Centre County (PA) Farm Bureau, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) association, and a frequent speaker for state and regional agricultural organizations and societies.
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