- MS in Industrial Technology, Occupational Safety and Health, 1974, Illinois State University
- BS in Agricultural Education, 1970, Illinois State University
Baker served as MU Extension State Agricultural Safety and Occupational Health Specialist for over 20 years before moving to an administrative position in 1994. During that time, Baker developed one of the leading agricultural safety programs in the US and authored journal articles, book chapters, conference papers developed 10 national curriculum, and 30+ technical reports and 25 safety guides. Baker also taught ASM 330 – Agricultural Safety & Occupational Health (a dual listed undergraduate and graduate course) for 27 years. He also served as Assistant Dean, Program Director for Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension (1994 – 2015) and Director of Commercial Agriculture (2013 – 2015). In those capacities he was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of one of the largest agriculture and natural resources extension programs in the US. His strategic investment in an innovative pasture-based dairy program and a model heifer replacement program resulted in $75-121 million economic impact for the state and more than 1,000 new jobs.
At the national level, Baker is known for his solid working relationships with congressional offices, key government leaders, and agricultural constituent groups. He served as chair of the North Central Agricultural and Natural Resources Program Leaders, president and executive director of the National Institute for Farm Safety, and chair of the Agricultural Division of the National Safety Council. Baker co-founded the national Extension Disaster Education Network.