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Robert Caret and Michael Drake
About APLU

Mark Varner, Ph.D.

Mark Varner
Mark Varner, Ph.D.
Senior Counsel, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD)

Mark Varner joined APLU in 2011 and serves as a Senior Counselor for USAID’s Board for International Food and Agricultural Development. He also works with the International Agriculture Section of APLU’s Board on Agriculture Assembly and with the Commission on International Initiatives.  Varner has attended and worked at APLU institutions throughout his academic career.

He joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1981, and remained at Maryland until his retirement in 2011. Varner reached the academic ranks of Associate Professor and Full Professor. In 2012, he was named Professor Emeritus. Varner was also named Honorary Distinguished Professor at Statvropol State Agrarian University, Stavropol, Russia in 2008 for his years of successful work in Russia.  Mark was born and raised on a dairy farm in Minnesota. He received his B.S. degree with distinction in animal sciences from the University of Minnesota, his M.S. degree in animal sciences from Washington State University and his Ph.D. degree in physiology from North Carolina State University.

Varner taught all, or part, of five classes on campus, conducted research in dairy cattle reproductive management and lameness of dairy cattle, and developed innovative Extension programs for dairy professionals. He was the principal or co-investigator for grants and contracts worth more than $4 million during his professional career. He has been the author or co-author of over 100 journal articles, book chapters, abstracts for professional meetings, and other articles.