The path of knowledge connecting university research labs to agricultural growers is being paved with a newly-endowed position at Washington State University.
Drew Lyon joins the WSU Department of Crop and Soil Sciences as the Endowed Chair in Small Grains Extension and Research, Weed Science, starting this month.
Lyon's mission is to make WSU's research-based information on small grains and weed control more accessible to farmers and easier to use.
"There's good research being done at WSU," notes Lyon. "I want to make sure it's getting out to the folks who need it and can use it."
With a broad spectrum of growers in Washington, Lyon says he will need to employ different methods to reach them all, via meetings, publications and the internet.
Lyon, who was an agronomist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was picked for his suitability for the challenge. His UNL position was split between research and extension, with responsibilities including the investigation and development of resource-efficient cropping systems for dryland production with an emphasis on weed control, water management and soil conservation.
Lyon's CropWatch:Wheat website features articles on wheat and weed control, as well as weekly updates on the wheat crop. His Virtual Wheat Varieties Tour site provides Nebraskan wheat growers with information on the service that they value most from the university: wheat variety testing.
The site includes information on yield, disease resistance, general descriptions and pictures of each variety, as well as a list of certified seed producers by variety.
Rich Koenig, WSU Department of Crop and Soil Science chair, says "WSU conduct an international search for the endowed chair, and Lyon was clearly the most qualified applicant. He has an outstanding record of program leadership, research and extension accomplishments in the area of cropping systems and weed science.
"He will continue WSU's ""World Class. Face to Face" legacy by engaging farmers and translating science-based approaches to weed management into practice."