Advisory Board Members

Mike Atkinson

Atkinson is senior vice president and manager of community development for First Citizens Bank. He graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s in English and a minor in business. The married father of a son and a daughter enjoys reading, real estate, golf and football.


Denver D. Caldwell

Caldwell is manager of turf marketing and marketing support for John Deere, U.S. and Canada within the Agriculture and Turf Division in Cary. He received his master of business administration from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor’s in management and a minor in finance. He enjoys coaching youth sports, boating and spending time with his wife, Natalie, and their sons, Dewayne and Preston.


Elworth Cheek

Cheek is a member of Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T’s Strategic Planning Council, which works to identify needs of local communities and to shape programs to address those needs, particularly for people with limited resources. Part of his role on the Strategic Planning Council is meeting with area representatives in Congress and the General Assembly to advocate for Cooperative Extension. Cheek formerly served on Randolph County’s Cooperative Extension Advisory Council.


Susan Perry Cole

Cole, who lives in Rocky Mount, is president and chief executive officer of the N.C. Association of Community Development Corporations (NCACDC), which she has served since 1999. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Cole has undergraduate and law degrees from Rutgers University.


Wilfred DeShon Cromartie

Cromartie is a district field representative for the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation in the central part of the state and is the team leader for the Young Farmer and Rancher Program across the state. He holds a bachelor of science in agriculture education and Extension and an master’s in agriculture education, both from N.C A&T.


Darlene Dixon, D.V.M., Ph.D

Dixon leads the Molecular Pathogenesis Group within the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Laboratory at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She has a doctorate of veterinary medicine from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She served as a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University before joining NIEHS in 1987. She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and is a diplomat in the ACVP


Justin Gayliard

Gayliard is the manager of Demand Group, North America Operations at BASF. Originally from New Jersey, Gayliard is a graduate of Rutgers University who holds a bachelor’s in animal science and minors in education and business. He is working toward a Global M.B.A. at the University of North Carolina while working for BASF in the Agricultural Solutions Division. He lives with his husband, toddler daughter and mother-in-law in Chapel Hill.


Jimmy Gentry

Gentry, who lives in Statesville, is chairman of the CAES Advisory Board. He is also president of the North Carolina State Grange and vice president of the National Grange. Gentry is a former vocational agriculture teacher and school administrator. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from N.C. State and two master’s degrees from N.C. A&T


Edward L. Gregory Jr.

Gregory, a native of Weldon, received bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in agricultural education, from N.C. A&T. He is a risk management specialist with USDA’s Risk Management Agency in the Raleigh Regional Office. He previously worked as county executive director for N.C. Farm Service Agency in Lillington, as a community program specialist with N.C. Rural Development in Henderson, general manager at Lea Funeral Home in Raleigh, and as an agriculture teacher at North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem.


Tanika Dean Harris


Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker

Hymon-Parker is the interim dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES), who administers the academic, agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs in the College, and its 226 faculty and staff members. A nationally recognized leader in the field of family and consumer sciences, Hymon-Parker joined N.C. A&T in 2009 as associate dean for the Agricultural Research Program. Under her guidance, the CAES continues to lead the University in research funding, bringing in an average of $21 million. She also established and coordinated the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, which has successfully operated since 2010. A native of Warrenton, she has a Ph.D. in education policy planning and administration from the University of Maryland, a master’s in apparel design from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s from N.C. Central University in Durham.


Skipper Jones


James Martin


Roland McReynolds

McReynolds is the executive director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. He grew up in Columbia, Missouri, where the family home was surrounded by conventional corn and soybean fields. His grandma was a longtime subscriber to Organic Gardening. His family raised its own layer and fryer chickens and grew most of its own vegetables. A licensed attorney, he decided after the births of his children to devote his legal training and business experience to the service of promoting healthy agriculture for future generations.


Carroll Moseley

Moseley is the senior environmental stewardship and policy manager for Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. The native of rural Southside Virginia grew up working on farms diversified with tobacco, dairy cattle, beef cattle, hogs, corn, soybeans, peanuts and cotton. He earned a double major in agronomy and animal science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


Jessica Patterson


Erica Peterson

Peterson is the executive vice president of the North Carolina Agribusiness Council. She has a bachelor’s in Communications from North Carolina State University and has dedicated her entire career to agribusiness communications – working in advertising, public relations, marketing and public affairs.


Chad Puryear


Dr. Richard C. Reich

Reich is the assistant commissioner for Agricultural Services in the N.C. Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, having served as director of the agency’s Agronomic Services Division since 1999. He is a native of Forsyth County, where he grew up on and still lives on a small farm. He holds a bachelor’s in agronomy, a master’s in soil science, and a doctorate in soil science, all from N.C. State.


Larry B. Wooten


Leslie M. Welch