Q & A with Joleen Hadrich

January 4, 2024

Hadrich is the newly appointed Associate Dean for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station and CFANS Research and Outreach Centers.

A photo of Joleen Hadrich

Last month, Joleen Hadrich, PhD, began her tenure as Associate Dean for the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and CFANS Research and Outreach Centers (ROCs), after serving as Interim Associate Dean since July 2022. 

Joleen joined CFANS in 2017, focusing on dairy economics, livestock systems, producer level decision-making, and agricultural finance. Her research engages with agricultural finance and production economics with an emphasis on farm-level profitability, and her Extension work focuses on farm management decision making as it interacts with environmental and applied economic constraints. 

Get to know Joleen, as she shares the goals she's working toward, her values and leadership style, and advice for CFANS students. 

What is your vision for MAES and the ROCS? 

My goal for the MAES and the ROCs is to elevate science-based solutions, showcase extraordinary education, and support dynamic public engagement. There is not a one-size-fits-all strategy to accomplish this over the broad network of the ROCs as well as the five colleges within MAES.  Rather, it’s a portfolio approach where my job is to do my best to lead a team of individuals across diverse backgrounds and experiences to find creative solutions to advance Minnesota as a global leader in food, agriculture, and natural resources.

What is one short-term goal you are working toward? 

In December I had made the decision to learn how to cross-country ski this season. Obviously, that short-term goal is at an epic standstill. Maybe the precipitation projections will change or I will just need to change my short-term goal to something work-related. For now, I'm holding strong on the hope that snow will come and I can add one more winter activity to my list of outdoor winter hobbies.

Has anything surprised you during your time as Interim Associate Dean? 

As a faculty member my academic interests in farm management and agricultural finance are very interdisciplinary focused, so I felt I had a strong handle on the scope of work that is completed in CFANS. I was wrong—CFANS and MAES are so much larger than I could have imagined. I have learned so much in the past 16 months, and I continue to learn, but at the crux of all of this knowledge is people. Getting to know the staff, researchers, and faculty that make the ROCs and MAES successful ranks as one of my favorite experiences to date.

How would you describe your leadership style? 

My leadership style is synonymous to my value system which centers on authenticity, transparency, inclusion, integrity, teamwork, fiscal responsibility, and work-life balance.  All of these things combined results in a strategic leader that is focused on finding solutions to real-world problems that helps CFANS and MAES meet our overall mission.

What advice would you give CFANS students? 

Take every opportunity to visit with your professors and build long-term working relationships. I did my undergraduate at the University of Minnesota Morris, and I still connect with some of my professors from 23 years ago. They continue to be some of my biggest supporters.

How do you like to spend your Minnesota winter? 

I enjoy the time of the year when we get "crunchy snow." There is something magical about walking outside, hearing the snow beneath your boots, and enjoying the sunshine reflecting off that snow. This also is often accompanied by below zero temps and I just view that as a temporary state of nature which is needed to create one of my favorite sounds of winter.  Outside of that, I enjoy snowshoeing, downhill skiing, and sledding.