Washington State U Hires World Tree Fruit Horticulturist

Desmond Layne considered to be tops in field.

Published on: Nov 8, 2012

One of the world's leading experts in tree fruit horticulture extension, Desmond Layne, is joining the Washington State University faculty in a newly endowed chair created by funding from the state's fruit industry.

Layne, the state extension horticulture program leader and extension fruit specialist at Clemson University in South Carolina, will begin his new job in February. He will be located at WSU's Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee.

"Desmond Layne literally sets the national bar for how to deliver scientific information to producers through extension," says Dan Bernardo, vice president for agriculture and extension at WSU. "His use of online technology and media brings a whole new approach to providing producers with the information they need when they need it."

Desmond Layne
Desmond Layne

Layne has an international reputation for excellence in both developing and delivering the results of cutting-edge research to the fruit industry, especially in peaches, says WSU Extension Director Rich Koenig.

"His hiring is another step in WSU's systematic and strategic investment in the research and outreach necessary to support the state's tree fruit industry."

"I am delighted to join the world renowned WSU tree fruit team to positively contribute to its growth and impact toward meeting the challenges and pursuing innovative opportunities to help the Washington tree fruit industry in the future," says Layne.

"I am particularly impressed with the industry's level of innovation and the strong partnership that they have forged with WSU. When many land-grant universities are experiencing cutbacks and reducing investment in extension, WSU is expanding and growing – especially in the area of tree fruit research and extension.

"Indeed, exciting things are happening at WSU."

Layne is co-author of a text book, "The Peach: Botany, Production and Uses," which some consider to be the most comprehensive peach book in print.

He is past president of the American Pomological Society and a contributing editor to fruit magazines.