Whipker Named Extension Educator of the Year

Brian Whipker, floriculture professor

Brian Whipker, floriculture professor named NC State extension educator of the year.

This story was originally published by the American Society of Horticultural Science at https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2019/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/31793

Dr. Brian Whipker has been named Extension Educator of the Year by American Society of Horticultural Science. Brian Whipker has had a noteworthy career in floriculture research and extension. The sheer number and breadth of publications, presentations and resources developed by Dr. Whipker exemplify a prolific career. The characteristic that makes Dr. Whipker’s extension program “effective” is his “systems” approach to issues. His contributions provide permanent resources in plant health, nutrition and growth regulation for the floriculture industry. Brian Whipker perfected the PourThru method by developing a simple, repeatable protocol for floriculture crops. To date, his hands-on nutritional monitoring trainings and resources continue to assist generations of extension educators and growers alike. The PourThru method is now a standard procedure in greenhouses throughout the world.

Whipker’s accomplishments, the unusual impact of his program, can be measured in the number of people he serves and those he mentors. He has presented seminars and workshops all across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His dedication to growers is palpable, and their respect and admiration for Dr. Whipker is clear. Dr. Whipker is also an outstanding mentor, both to students and colleagues. His personal interactions yield future faculty and industry members to carry on his extension legacy. Dr. Whipker inspires his students to be leaders in academia or industry by providing them with the knowledge they need to succeed in their careers. His students attend and present their research at state, regional, national and international conferences, including many SR-ASHS, national ASHS and international ISHS meetings. Dr. Whipker also is recognized as an outstanding mentor to other extension educators, who genuinely cares about his colleagues and the growers they serve. He has organized and conducted several U.S. and international tours for his extension colleagues.

Dr. Whipker is dedicated to developing diagnostic tools growers can use immediately to solve problems. Combining diagnostic picture cards with his cutting edge and innovative use of technology, he has created online and mobile calculators, information portals, and authored production and diagnostic guides such as iBooks to assist growers. Dr. Whipker’s leadership was instrumental in the formation and growth of the e-GRO team. Now in its seventh year, the team consists of 20 top greenhouse extension educators and specialists in the U.S. The weekly Alert Newsletter is combined with webinars, videos, Research Updates, a Blog and Mobile Advisors covering nutritional monitoring, diseases, insect/mites and PGRs. Dr. Whipker leads the way in using technology to distribute timely information to growers. The Alert Newsletter and website has earned ASHS and SR-ASHS Extension materials awards.

Dr. Whipker has an outstanding record of achievements and positive impact on the growers, students and colleagues he serves. Dr. Whipker is one of the leaders in greenhouse floriculture crop production Extension and this is an award he rightly deserves.

Dr. Whipker received his Ph.D. in Horticulture, M.S. in Agricultural Economics, B.S. in Horticulture, and a B.S. in Agricultural Education from Purdue University.