David Langston, a professor of plant pathology from the University of Georgia, has been tapped as the new director of the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Suffolk, Virginia.

Langston has extensive experience in applied agricultural research and extension in plant disease management, which is extremely relevant to the center and its mission to further research in field crops including cotton, soybean, peanut, corn, small grains and alternative crops, in addition to swine management.

“I am delighted that David has accepted our offer to serve in this new role,” said Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean of research for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Virginia Agricultural and Experiment Station. “I would also like to thank Allen Harper for his outstanding leadership of the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center over the past several years. We wish Allen the best in his retirement.”

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are the nexus of research and practical application of investigative findings that work in conjunction with Virginia Cooperative Extension to put university knowledge into the hands of the citizens of the commonwealth. The myriad missions of the 11 centers located throughout the state are to engage in innovative, leading-edge research; to discover new scientific knowledge in collaboration with Virginia Cooperative Extension; to create and disseminate science-based applications; to contribute to economic and environmental viability; and to enhance the quality of life for citizens of the state of Virginia.

Though Langston is arriving from Georgia, he is no stranger to the Hokie Nation and taking over at the center will be a homecoming of sorts for him.

“I’m excited about the position because I grew up on a farm only 20 minutes from the station and the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center is where I conducted my field research for my Ph.D.,” said Langston.

Langston joined University of Georgia as an assistant professor in 1998 after completing his Ph.D. in plant pathology from Virginia Tech. He received both his bachelor’s of science in agronomy and his master’s of agriculture in crop science from North Carolina State University.

One initiative Langston said he would like to implement is new information and communications technology when he comes on board as director.

“The Tidewater center is known for delivering timely, research-based information to the agricultural industry and I plan to enhance that capability by implementing information delivery systems using social media and user-friendly cell phone apps,” said Langston.

Langston has a strong record of scholarship and graduate student mentoring and has served in several leadership roles including the graduate coordinator for the master degree program in plant protection and pest management at University of Georgia as well as the president of the southern division of the American Phytopathological Society.



Written by Amy Loeffler.
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