New NC State Extension Small Grain Specialist Expected by Spring


With the retirement of Dr. Randy Weise earlier this year, the position of Small Grain Specialist with NC State Extension has been vacant going on a year now.  Dan Weathington, Executive Director of the NC Small Grain Growers Association:

“We appreciate Jeff Mullahey, head of Crop Science, Dean Linton and the whole crew working with us get that position listed and aired, and by the way, the new title on that will be “Small Grain Cropping Specialist”, a little different wrinkle than what we’ve had in the past to broaden that position just a little bit.”

With speed we’re not accustomed to seeing with government and academia involved, that position is likely to be filled

“We’ve been through the process, it’s not finalized, but as far as the exact person, it’s been finalized.  But, there’s a lot of paperwork, and all kind of agreements, and that won’t be announced…we hope it will be announced in December and that person will be on board around the first of March.  We can’t say the name, because all the details haven’t been worked out.  But, we appreciate the University working with us on a rapid pace getting that position filled and it serves a very good need in our small grain family here, and small grain crops in North Carolina.”

And, says Weathington, the NC Small Grain Growers Association partially funds that position and it’s research with checkoff dollars:

“We certainly support the University in research and assessment dollars to make that position well supported.  We have just funded a total of $563,298 for small grain research.  Most of those plots have been planted, or will be planted this week and next.”

Our good friend, Dr. Ron Heiniger has filled in while the position has been open, and Weathington says it’s time that Dr. Heiniger had a break

“We’ve over worked him, and Dr. Murphy our wheat breeder, at NC State during this time frame, they’ve really come up to bat and helped fill the void since Dr. Randy Weisz left the position.”

Weathington says possibly as soon as December the announcement will come out as to who the new small grain specialist will be with a start date.'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.