WSU approves hiring of weed scientist
Extension has 'void east of the Cascades in weed science'
By MATTHEW WEAVER
Washington State University administrators have given final approval to hire a WSU Extension weed specialist.
"It's our only weed science extension presence in Eastern Washington," said Rich Koenig, chairman of WSU's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.
Joe Yenish, the previous extension weed specialist, resigned in early November to pursue a private-sector opportunity, Koenig said.
Research teaching faculty member Ian Burke will cover WSU Extension responsibilities through the winter, but a faculty member is needed to oversee the large program, Koenig said.
Koenig said the department is fortunate to receive permission to fill the position, as the university has curtailed hiring due to budget cuts.
For example, the conservation tillage extension position, split between WSU and the University of Idaho, was vacated by Hans Kok in June. It has not been filled, because neither university can afford it, Koenig said.
Another WSU weed position in Prosser remains vacant after a retirement several years ago.
"We really have a void east of the Cascades in weed science," Koenig said.
Koenig hopes to advertise for the position at regional and national weed science meetings in February.
In the meantime, farmers are encouraged to contact county WSU Extension faculty members.