David Hardy will head the soil testing section of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Agronomic Division. He replaces M. Ray Tucker, who retired as head of the section after 27 years in the department.

Commissioner Meg Scott Phipps made the announcement recently.

A native of Lenoir County, Hardy earned a Ph. D. in soil science from North Carolina State. He is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Agronomy, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Protection Association of North Carolina.

Hardy has previously been an Extension specialist in the North Carolina State University soil science department, an Extension agent in Wilson County and an area environmental agent in the lower Neuse River basin.

He was a member of the Neuse Education Team that received a USDA Group Honor Award for Excellence in 2000.

“David Hardy's understanding of soil fertility and the environmental changes of nutrient management will serve North Carolina farmers and consumers equally well,” Phipps said.