COLLEGE STATION, Texas –Drs. Bart Drees’ and Roy Parker’s dedication and hard work were honored as they received Emeritus status at a recent Board of Regents meeting in February.
Drees and Parker both received the status for their outstanding achievements and service with both the Department of Entomology and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service during their time of employment.
Drees retired from the Department and Extension in August of 2013 after 33 years of employment as an Extension Entomologist. Initially, Drees had responsibilities for educational programming on pests of agricultural and urban environments. His work focused on pest management in commercially produced ornamental plants, red imported fire ants, and IPM in rice and soybeans.
From 1997 to 2003, Drees directed the Texas Imported Fire Ant Research and Management Project and was responsible for implementing the statewide fire ant management plan with Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas and the Texas Department of Agriculture. In addition to managing the Fire Ant Project, he conducted fire ant research and Extension programming.
Drees then began enhancing his educational efforts with applied research and education work on IPM on landscape plants in addition to continuing his educational efforts on red imported fire ant management. He has also published several scholarly papers and co-authored A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects with Dr. John Jackman.
Drees was involved in several professional organizations and societies, including committees of the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America, as well as the national organization and the Society of Southwestern Entomologists. He also was the president of the SSWE in 2003, president of the ESA Southwestern Branch in 2005, and the ESA Governing Board from 2011-2013.
Drees also received numerous awards, including the Outstanding State IPM Program Award, the USDA-ARS Technology Transfer Award, and the Distinguished Achievement – Extension from the Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America in 1998. He received the Texas Agricultural Extension Service Superior Service Award in 1996. Drees was honored by receiving both the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Continuing Education in 1996.
Before retiring in August of 2013, Parker had been with Extension for 35 years working in the Texas Coastal Bend area. Some of the pests he helped farmers to manage include the boll weevil, bollworm/budworm complex (sorghum headworms and corn earworms), cotton fleahopper, armyworms and aphids. During the short season cotton
He helped farmers manage and cope with very destructive pests such as boll weevil, the bollworm/budworm complex (headworms in sorghum, earworms in corn), cotton fleahopper, armyworms, sorghum midge, stink bugs, aphids and other pests. Parker was instrumental in implementing the short season cotton production system, which increased cotton profitability by some $30 million per year.
Parker also was the most trusted source of information as growers made contentious decisions such as whether or not to initiate and continue their boll weevil eradication, as well as other pest management programs. His recommendations were the product of his work field testing technologies, observations in grower fields, and his study of the literature and interaction with collaborators.
“Dr. Parker’s primary focus during his career was to provide the best possible information to growers, county agents and consultants in Texas. He worked hard, and was admired by those he served and those with whom he worked,” said Statewide IPM Coordinator Dr. Charles Allen. “It is rare to find someone who invests so completely of themselves in the service of others. Dr.Parker embodies that description. I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him and learn from him for over 30 years.”