What is in this article?:
- Jack Bacheler leaving legacy as North Carolina Extension entomologist
- Continued running despite professional pressure
- Behind the scene
• The recent retirement of entomologists, and the loss of others to neighboring universities, has left the North Carolina State program significantly under-staffed to handle grower needs.
RETIRING North Carolina State University Entomologist Jack Bacheler talks about stink bugs at a recent cotton meeting .
Continued running despite professional pressure
During his career at North Carolina State, Bacheler provided invaluable pest management information for county agents, consultants and farmers. Despite his demanding schedule as an entomologist, he never quite got over his passion for running.
As an assistant professor, he found time to coach the North Carolina State University’s distance runners and remains the only coach in the university’s history to win two national cross country championships.
During his career, he says one of the biggest challenges and most significant accomplishments was his work on the Boll Weevil Eradication Program.
“From a biological standpoint alone, essentially wiping out an insect a wide geographic area was a huge challenge,” he says.
Working with entomologists from the Southeast and across the Cotton Belt helped establish a camaraderie that has proven valuable in future efforts to help farmers manage a never-ending threat from various insects.
“Technology changed tremendously during my time at North Carolina State, and it was always a challenge to adapt new technology in a way that benefits farmers,” he says. One of his proudest recent accomplishments is development of a smart phone app for stink bug management.
In recent years, he has worked with entomologists around the South to develop IPM friendly programs for managing stink bugs. Similar cooperative efforts with entomologists at the University of Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech are helping establish management guidelines for kudzu bugs.
“Over my 25-year career at Virginia Tech, Jack has been a reliable friend and colleague,” says Virginia Tech Entomologist Ames Herbert. “Often, one of the biggest challenges we face is time — growers need information and they need it now to protect their crop. Jack remained unflappable in situations like that and was able to remain focused on solving the problem and doing it in a way that helped growers without getting too far away from our IPM mission,” Herbert adds.