Clemson University has appointed John D. Mueller director of the Edisto Research and Education Center. Mueller has served as interim director of the center for the last year. He replaces Steven Meadows, who became Extension field operations director.

Mueller joined Clemson in Blackville in 1983 as an assistant professor of plant pathology. His primary research areas are cotton and soybean nematology. At the Edisto research center he supervises nine faculty and 15 staff.

George Askew, associate dean for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Public Service Activities, said the Edisto center couldn’t be in better hands.

“John Mueller’s experience with the needs of South Carolina’s agricultural community, and his knowledge of the day-to-day operations of the Edisto Research and Education Center, will ensure a continuation of the tradition of service and expertise that Edisto has provided to the state throughout its history,” Askew said.

The Edisto research center is one of five branch stations of the Clemson Experiment Station, the research arm of Clemson University’s Public Service Activities. The Edisto center opened its doors a few miles west of Blackville in 1937 with 200 acres, three researchers, one tractor and six mules.

Since then, the center has grown into a 2,354-acre facility that includes most of the major soil types of the upper Coastal Plain.

Edisto faculty members’ expertise ranges from agricultural engineering and animal science to entomology and plant pathology.

The center also hosts popular annual public events, including the Watermelon Field Day in July, the Fall Field Day (Sept. 4 in 2008) and the Forage Bull Test Sale (Oct. 11 in 2008).

Mueller said the faculty and staff are dedicated to help solve problems facing today’s farmers in South Carolina. Through their research they develop effective ways to grow and harvest crops, raise beef cattle and conserve natural resources.

“It is a pleasure to lead such a committed team who recognize the issues that are important to rural South Carolina,” Mueller said.