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K-State Research and Extension News

June 15, 2018

K-State’s Department of Agronomy names Mickey Ransom as interim head

Ransom assumes new role as long-time department head Gary Pierzynski departs

Mickey Ransom






















Michel "Mickey" Ransom has been named interim head of the Kansas State University Department of Agronomy.
Download above photo of Mickey Ransom


MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State University Department of Agronomy has chosen Michel “Mickey” Ransom as the new interim department head. Ransom will transition into the position as the current head, Gary Pierzynski, university distinguished professor, assumes a new administrative position at The Ohio State University.

Ransom graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Arkansas in 1974. He continued his education by completing a master’s in soil science at the University of Arkansas in 1976 and began his professional experience in the U.S. Department of Agriculture by conducting soil surveys in southern Arkansas. In 1984 he earned a Ph.D. in soil genesis, classification and mineralogy from The Ohio State University. Ransom came to K-State in 1984 as an assistant professor of agronomy.

Originally from a small farm in Arkansas, he was fond of math and science courses as a student. Experiences throughout his education eventually led him back to a career in education.

At K-State, Ransom has been involved in nearly every aspect of the college experience. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, he has served as the assistant head for teaching in the department since 2000. That part of his responsibilities involve coordination of academic programs, management of the teaching budget, assignment of graduate teaching assistants and advisors, class scheduling, course and curriculum development, assessment coordination, and faculty evaluation and development of teaching.

He has also invested in students through experiential learning as the soil judging team coach. The team has experienced regional and national success under his guidance. Ransom said it is an opportunity for students to travel and see soils and landscapes in different locations.

“I think it is fun for students and a good environment for them to learn in,” said Ransom.

Since joining the agronomy department in 1984, he has accumulated many awards and professional achievements. He is a fellow of both the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. He was awarded the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award. He has served as the president of faculty senate at K-State and has been recognized by various college organizations and national societies for excellence in teaching and advising.

Ransom is full of K-State purple pride and enjoys displaying his loyalty at sporting events year round. He shares this passion with his wife, Nora, a retired English instructor. They have two children and three grandchildren that they enjoy spending time with.

For more information

Mickey Ransom

Written by

Kathy Gehl
K-State Research and Extension


“I think it is fun for students and a good environment for them to learn in.”

– Mickey Ransom, K-State interim agronomy department head, of his experience as coach of K-State student soil judging teams.



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K‑State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the wellbeing of Kansans.
Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county extension offices, experiment fields, area extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K‑State campus in Manhattan.