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Meet the longtime professor now leading Darr College of Agriculture

 Melissa Bledsoe photographs a leaf.
Kevin White/Missouri State University
Dr. Melissa Bledsoe is currently an endowed professor through the Clif and Gail Smart Professor in Agriculture award.

Dr. Melissa Bledsoe oversees the college with a rich history at Missouri State.

Our weekly program, Missouri State Journal, is a collaboration between KSMU Radio and Missouri State University. It's hosted and produced by MSU's Office of Strategic Communication, and it airs each Tuesday morning at 9:45 on KSMU.

This spring, Missouri State University named Dr. Melissa Bledsoe dean of the William H. Darr College of Agriculture. The first named college at the university, Darr has a rich history at Missouri State. The role is not an unfamiliar one for the professor, she’s held the interim title since June 2023. 

Last summer, the college was part of the university’s larger academic realignment. The biggest change was bringing the hospitality leadership program under the college umbrella and combining all departments into two schools.
Hear Bledsoe talk about her vision for the college and her history with the program by clicking on the "listen" button above.

Read the full transcript.


Emily Letterman has worked at Missouri State University since 2023 and is currently the public relations strategist in the Office of Strategic Communication. A longtime journalist with over a decade of reporting on southwest Missouri, she has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from MSU.