Richard Michael Foster

Richard Michael  Foster
  • W. K. Kellogg Chair for Food, Society and Sustainability
  • Established through a gift from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Community Sustainability


Rick Foster is the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Food, Society and Sustainability. He is a national expert in food sustainability. 

Foster came to Michigan State University in 2010 following a 17-year career as program vice president at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek. Previously, he worked at the University of Nebraska in international development activities and was instrumental in establishing the School of Agriculture for the Humid Tropical Region (EARTH University) in Costa Rica. 

His work has been instrumental in enabling the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources to undertake a range of land-grant efforts including: the Student Organic Farm; the Land Policy Institute; the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agriculture, Food and Community Ethics; and the Great Lakes Leadership Academy.

Since coming to Michigan State University, Foster has served as the founding director of the Michigan State University Extension’s Greening Michigan Institute (2010-2012). There, he directed educational efforts in community and economic development, natural resources and stewardship, food systems, and resource allocation. Foster currently teaches leadership and grant writing classes in the Department of Community Sustainability at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and provides outreach and creative support for community sustainability in cities across Michigan.