May 22, 2018
In early April, North Carolina State University named Dr. Rachel Atwell Vann as the new soybean Extension specialist, replacing Dr. Jim Dunphy who retired after 43 years of service to the soybean industry.
Vann says she is excited about working with farmers and county Extension agents throughout the state. Her goal is to provide practical information to growers to help them enhance the profitability of their operations while also helping to train the next generation of people working in agriculture.
Vann is from Geneseo, Ill.. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana studying natural resources, crop and soil sciences. While there, she participated in several undergraduate research projects which fostered a love of agricultural research. After getting her degree, she sought to gain research experience in a different part of the country and relocated to North Carolina.
Vann’s Master's research focused on cover crop and fertility management in organic corn production and fundamental management decisions in organic canola production. She worked on her Ph.D. with Drs. Chris Reberg-Horton and Alan York at N.C. State, focusing primarily on pea for grain production, cover crop management and weed control in XtendFlex cotton.
“I was fortunate to work across many commodities and research topics while in school with exceptional mentors,” said Vann. “Through my work with county Extension agents and on-farm trials, I realized that working in Extension, as well as teaching and conducting applied field research, was what I wanted to do.”
Dunphy, professor of crop science and soybean Extension specialist at N.C. State, retired on Apr. 30. For over 43 years, Dunphy helped North Carolina soybean growers do their jobs better and he leaves a legacy of improvements to the soy industry here and throughout the United States.
Dunphy was recognized at Commodity Classic this year with the inaugural American Soybean Association (ASA) Pinnacle Award, given to individuals who have demonstrated the highest level of contribution and long-term leadership within the soybean family and industry.
Dunphy leaves the soybean industry in North Carolina with yields that are 52.5 percent higher than when he started in the role.
Dr. Jim Dunphy retired as North Carolina's soybean specialist on April 30 after 43 years of service to the soybean industry.
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