Gary Hein, Founding Director of UNL’s Doctor of Plant Health Program to Retire, Jeff Bradshaw Named Successor
Since its inception in 2008, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Doctor of Plant Health Program has trained students across the various disciplines that impact plant health and plant management. Students study topics including plant pathology, entomology, soil science, weed science, agronomy, statistics and more. These students go on to work as crop consultants, extension educators and as researchers and agronomists for major agricultural companies, among other career paths.
In an agricultural state like Nebraska, this kind of professional training is important, said Gary Hein, the program’s founding director and a professor of entomology.
“Producers want to figure out how decisions fit into their whole production system,” Hein said.
That can be difficult. Without a broad understanding of the many factors that affect plant health, what seems like a simple solution to a disease or other issue can sometimes have unintended consequences. The Doctor of Plant Health program strives to avoid that.
“We’re trying to develop professionals that can work across that entire system so they can develop and implement management systems that will lead to fewer problems in the first place,” Hein said.
After 15 years leading the program, Hein is retiring as director at the end of the year. Jeff Bradshaw, a professor of entomology at the Panhandle Research, Extension and Education Center in Scottsbluff, will become the next director effective Jan. 1.
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