In addition to my interest and involvement on the farm, my full time job since 1979 was as a Pest Management Specialist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. After receiving my BS in 1964 at Holy Cross College, I earned both MS and Ph.D. degrees at UMass in the field of Plant Science. At UMass, I was the statewide Coordinator of the UMass Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Entomology, later part of the Department of Plant Soil and Insect Sciences. The IPM Program carries out educational outreach to farmers, growers and others on ways to reduce unnecessary use of pesticide, and develops biological (rather than chemical) ways to manage pests of key crops. In addition to educational and administrative functions, I also conduct research into development of insect traps, and better understanding of how plants defend themselves against pests biochemically.
In Dec. of 2003, I took advantage of an early retirement incentive offered by the state during a period of economic downturn. For the next ten years, I worked 2 or so days a week at UMass, focusing on conducting several grants. During most of the year, this new status allows me to be on the farm 5 days a week, which is a lot more than has been possible for the past 26 years or so. In 2013, on the occasion of my 70th birthday, I fully retired from UMass. As I often say, retiring means that I now can work 8 days a week on the farm.
Beyond my professional interests at UMass, I am an avid fisherman and general outdoorsman. From 1997 to 2003 I served as a member and chair of a three-person Board of Selectmen (BOS) for Charlemont. The BOS is the chief executive body of the Town.Previously or subsequently,, I served on the Town’s Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Finance Committee. In addition, I am active in historic preservation for the Town, and enjoy traveling, birding, making music and cooking.