By: Dr. M.O. Way, Prof. of EntomologyTexas AgriLife Research and Extension Center
Well, I want to wish all my rice friends and colleagues a Happy 2021…may it be much better than 2020!
For this brief article, I want to recognize Kevin Haack who recently retired as Coordinator for Pesticide Product Evaluation and Registration with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Kevin has been in this important position for the past 5 years but has served the State of Texas for 30 years. While Coordinator, Kevin worked with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), agri-chemical companies, farmers, crop consultants, and university researchers to bring onboard new and better pest management tools for the Texas rice industry. The thing I like about Kevin is he is very responsive to the needs of our farmers. Frequently, I have provided data and input to Kevin who then puts together all the facts/data and submits complicated requests to USEPA in a very timely manner. Kevin has been instrumental in gaining a Section 18 for Endigo ZC for rice planthopper control; and 3, 24c registrations for aerial applications of Command 3ME. In addition, Kevin has worked on many Special Local Needs and Section 18 registrations involving cotton, sorghum, citrus, onion, corn, grapes, cabbage, peppers, sweet potatoes, collard, kale, mustard, turnip greens, potatoes, greenhouse tomatoes, peanuts, spinach, pecans, public health pests, ticks, crazy ants and weeds in reservoirs and waterways! Kevin has always been super prompt, very efficient, and dedicated to helping Texas agriculture produce more and safer food while protecting the environment. I don’t know how TDA will replace an employee of Kevin’s caliber, expertise, and diligence…
Some more background info on Kevin: 1) before working at TDA for 17 years, Kevin was in charge of the Pest Management Program at Lamar University in Beaumont; 2) Kevin earned a BS degree in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin and an MS degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University; 3) Kevin currently lives in Pflugerville, TX with his wife of 25 years and son; 4) during retirement, Kevin and family plan to travel and when home, Kevin will concentrate on his passion…woodworking.
To sum up, on behalf of the Texas rice industry, I wish Kevin a well-earned retirement!!! Please come by the Beaumont Center and/or my home at any time, Kevin. My cell is 409-239-4265.