DeDecker began his career with Extension at Michigan State University as the 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Program leader in 2006, and became the associate state leader of MSU’s 4-H programs in 2014, before serving as associate director of the Children & Youth Institute and the state leader of MSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program. At the helm, DeDecker provided leadership, vision and direction to MSU 4-H program’s more than 150 faculty and staff, and 10,000 volunteers.
He earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate in animal sciences, as well as a certificate in business administration, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
He also serves on a number of national and regional committees, and has taken advantage of a host of special trainings and programs to broaden his knowledge and extend the reach of his work in Extension. He is a graduate of Coming Together for Racial Understanding, a national Extension program that helps participants develop competencies around multicultural communication and interaction, so that they can help organize, convene and lead efforts to bring people together for conversations around challenging issues.