Information provided to Ben Jackson on January 16, 2008 by Larry Biles, charter member of ANREP and retired National Forest Management Program Leader for USDA CSREES 1989-2004.
The idea for organizing a group came about at the National Extension Foresters Meeting (the Triennial) in Eugene, OR in 1991. Many of the state natural resources Extension leaders were at the meeting. The planning committee included Scott Reed, the host from Oregon, Charlie Blinn from Minnesota, Jim Finley from Pennsylvania, Jim Neal, Southern Regional Extension Forester in Georgia, and Larry Biles, mentioned above. There might have been others on the committee. In part the impetus for forming an association came when Mitch Geislar, at the time Associate Administrator of the USDA Extension Service, called the participants a dysfunctional family.
At the Triennial the participants selected four regional reps to work on forming an association. Mark Vodak from Rutgers was probably the NE representative and it was his job to write the bylaws. He may have been selected as the Bylaws Chair. Exactly when it is unclear but the first association name considered was the National Association of Forest Resource Extension Professionals (NAFREP).
The first time the bylaws were presented was at the National Forestry Extension Meeting held at the 1992 Society of American Foresters (SAF) convention in Richmond, VA. The bylaws were not adopted then because they were considered to be too long. Vodak pared them down. The bylaws were revisited at the National Extension Forestry meetings in conjunction with the SAF annual conventions in 1993 and 94.
In 1995 it was decided to go forward with the NAFREP name. Don Hanley from Washington became the first President in 1996 and Mel Baughman from Minnesota the President-Elect. Because of the concerns from wildlife Extension specialists the name was no longer acceptable and was changed to ANREP that year.
The Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) was not well known among natural resource Extension professionals in 1995-96. Larry Biles as an ANREP de facto representative wrote a letter to Extension Committee On Organization and Policy (ECOP) representatives asking about how to join JCEP. He was told this was not a National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC) function but he would have to petition JCEP directly. He did and discovered that JCEP had no process for admitting new member association. President Don Hanley assumed leadership for the JCEP relationship at that point and worked with JCEP to adopt new member guidelines. The new guidelines included a provision that the requesting association had to be in existence for at least two years prior to consideration.
ANREP became a member of JCEP in 2000 when Bill Hubbard from Georgia was the president. As a member of JCEP, ANREP was given representation in the ECOP Budget and Legislative committee. We continue to participate on that committee and NASULGC‘s Leadership Advisory Council. As a JCEP member organization we also have an opportunity to participate in JCEP‘s annual regional leadership meetings, the Policy and Leadership Development (PILD) conference each April in Washington DC, and the GALAXY conference held every five years.
The first biennial ANREP conference was held in Minnesota in 1998 while Rick Hamilton, NCSU, was president. Subsequent conferences were as follows:
As of 2020, there are nine state chapter ANREP associations. Find out more about these chapters here.
ANREP Presidents have been:
1996 – Don Hanley, Washington State University
1997 – Mel Baughman, University of Minnesota
1998 – Rick Hamilton, North Carolina State University
1999 – Bob Edmonds, University of Connecticut
2000 – Bill Hubbard, Southern Regional Extension Forestry housed in Georgia
2001 – Chuck Gay, Utah State University
2002 – Mike Kroenke, University of Wisconsin
2003 – Joe Schaffer, University of Florida
2004 – Scott Reed, Oregon State University
2005 – Janean Creighton, Washington State University
2006 – Ben Jackson, University of Georgia
2007 – Viviane Simon-Brown, Oregon State University
2008 – Susan Donaldson – University of Nevada
2009 – Mike Reichenbach - University of Minnesota
2010 - Jeff Schalau - University of Arizona
2011 - Michael Kuhns - Utah State University
2012 - Eleanor Burkett - University of Minnesota
2013 - Sanford Smith - Penn State University
2014 - Robert Bardon - North Carolina State University
2015 - Dean Solomon - Michigan State University
2016 - Diana Rashash - North Carolina State University
2017 - Chris Jones - University of Arizona
2018 - James Henderson - Mississippi State University
2019 - John Kushla - Mississippi State University
2020 - Lara Milligan - University of Florida
2021 - Alicia Betancourt - University of Florida