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2013 Alumni Fellow

Posted: December 9, 2013

MeeCee Baker ’82 B.S., ’94 Ph.D. Agricultural Education, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner of Versant Strategies

MeeCee Baker serves as chief operating officer and managing partner of Versant Strategies, a governmental relations firm working with agricultural, environmental, and rural issues, located in Harrisburg, Pa. She is also currently an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University.

At Versant Strategies, Baker has tripled the firm’s client base. She developed Marketplace for the Mind, a website of curriculum used by thousands of educators nationally with downloadable lesson plans that meet academic standards for agricultural education.

Baker began her career as a faculty member in Penn State’s College of Education and was subsequently appointed as education coordinator for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. In addition to her Penn State degrees in agriculture, she received a master’s degree in 1986 from the University of Delaware.

During her 20-year tenure as an agricultural educator, Baker became the first female elected as president of the 10,000-member National Association of Agricultural Educators. She has co-authored two textbooks, both staples used nationally in animal science classrooms: Introduction to Veterinary Science and Animal Science: Biology and Technology. She also has authored or presented dozens of professional articles and is a sought-after keynote speaker, addressing national audiences. Most recently, Baker delivered the commencement speech for Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences.

Baker has served on numerous influential advisory committees, including as a board member for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. She is a former president of the College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Society.

A lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association, Baker lives on her family farm in Port Royal, Pa., with her husband, Jim Garofalo, and daughter, Libby. 

View Dr. Baker's Alumni Fellow Award Ceremony acceptance speech.