Jessie Potterton has been named director of the Farm and Industry Short Course (FISC) in the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). She has held the position on an interim basis for the past 12 months and will formally begin her new duties on Oct. 1.
Potterton says she’s thrilled to be able to continue to lead FISC, a 17-week post-secondary educational program that prepares students for careers in agriculture and related fields.
“Being from a rural community, it was really exciting when I was asked to step in last year. I worked hard to build relationships with students and instructors and alumni and I’m looking forward to continuing that,” Potterton says. “We also need to seek out representatives from the ag industry and develop an advisory board to help us improve our program. We need to make sure that our curriculum provides students with the right skills, and we need the industry’s help to do that.”
Potterton’s success in the interim position made her a strong candidate for the job, says Sarah Pfatteicher, CALS associate dean for undergraduate programs and services.
“Jessie’s unwavering dedication to the integrity of the 130-year-old program, her aptitude for interacting with students, instructors, and alumni, and her good humor in the face of incessant challenges impressed me throughout her term as interim,” Pfatteicher says. “The faculty, staff, alumni and students who interacted with her during the search process were equally impressed with her skills and her commitment. FISC is undoubtedly in good hands with Jessie at the helm.”
Before joining FISC, Potterton served from 2011 to 2013 as CALS director of prospective student services. Prior to that, she worked for five years as a UW-Extension 4-H youth development educator in Lafayette County.