Veteran USDA-ARS researcher, CASNR grad Richard Ridgway dies at 84
By: Norman Martin
Richard Ridgway, a 1957 graduate of Texas Tech University's Department of Plant and Soil Science majoring in agronomy and a longtime leader with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, passed away in Flower Mound, Texas, on Thursday (Feb. 13). He was 84.
CASNR Dean William Brown noted that Ridgway loved agricultural history and the influence of Texas Tech University on agricultural development in the region. "He was a prolific writer and had a special interest in communicating the positive aspects of agriculture to the general public," Brown said.
Following graduation from Texas Tech, Ridgway went on to serve to receive his master's and doctorate degrees in entomology from Cornell University (1959, 1960). He then served in research and leadership positions with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service in College Station and Beltsville, Maryland.
His research interests focused on biological insect controls, regulation of pesticide, and pest management. Indeed, he helped forge the USDA's policy that led to the Boll Weevil Eradication Program. Ridgway was instrumental in the creation of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation whose purpose is to enhance agriculture through scientific knowledge. He served the organization for almost four decades.
During his career Ridgway traveled extensively, consulting with international organizations including the USDA Agency for International Development, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Among his honors were the Geigy Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to Agriculture, the USDA Science and Education Award for Special Achievement, and the USDA Superior Service Unit Award. In addition, he authored, edited or co-edited numerous publications including four books, and he was as a member of several professional societies.
Later in life, the Flower Mound resident served as president of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, where he initiated a partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the World Food Prize Foundation to promote a broader understanding of agriculture and to demonstrate the importance of scientific knowledge.
In 2012, Ridgway received the Texas Tech College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' Gerald W. Thomas Outstanding Agriculturalist Award for Public Service. In addition, his passion for West Texas led him to create Hamilton Park in Brownfield, which was named after his grandfather Joseph who settled in Terry County in 1902.
CONTACT: William Brown, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0217NM20 / Editor's Note: For information on the Richard and Donna Ridgway/James LaMunyon Chancellor's Council Endowed Scholarship, please click here
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
- Agricultural Education & Communications
- Animal & Food Sciences
- Landscape Architecture
- Natural Resources Management
- Plant & Soil Science
- Veterinary Science
Editor: Norman Martin
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