AmericanFarm.com

Wilson stepping down after half-century in Painter

By BRUCE HOTCHKISS
Senior Editor

PAINTER, Va. (May 27, 2014) — Dr. Henry P. Wilson, a stalwart for nearly a half-century at the Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Research and Extension Center, and the center’s one-time director, has retired.
But that doesn’t mean he’s cleaning out his desk.
Wilson has advanced to emeritus status and will return to work — banker’s hours no doubt — where he expects to continue his exploration of the mysteries of weed resistance, an ever-expanding area concern for America’s farmers.
Wilson was feted May 15 at a gathering at the research station attended by some 120 friends and fans including many of the former graduate students who came under his wing, so to speak, as they furthered their studies,
Research Center officials took the occasion, as well, to mark the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension.
Wilson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Delaware and his doctorate in weed science from Rutgers University in 1967.
In that same year, he joined the Virginia Tech Extension staff at Painter and has been there ever since.
He served as director of the center for 13 of his 47 years at Painter.
Through his career there, he advised five master of science degree students and 13 doctoral candidates, mentored two post-doctoral faculty associates and co-advised numerous students within the department.
He was principal or co-principal investigator on more than 130 competitive and non-competitive grants researching new herbicides and herbicide resistant weeds and authored more than 400 refereed journal articles, Extension publications and abstracts.
Wilson has received more than 20 professional honors and awards, including the Henderson Award from the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science for outstanding performance as a faculty member and most recently, the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Association of Virginia Potato and Vegetable Growers, for “dedicated service, support and advocacy for the Eastern Shore Agricultural Community.”
During his career, Wilson‘s research has focused on weed control in vegetable and agronomic crops, including evaluations of new herbicides, herbicide mixtures, herbicide-resistant weeds, sequential herbicide applications, herbicide antagonism, weed species shifts resulting from herbicide applications and crops genetically modified to tolerate specific herbicides.
Wilson said he has been frequently contacted directly by agriculture agents, crop consultants, agrichemical dealers and individual farmers for weed management recommendations and weed identification.
“These contacts enabled me to keep abreast of production trends and changes,” he said , adding that “this feedback has been useful in providing direction to our research program.”