Email Print Site Map
NCPN Citrus
NCPN Citrus
NCPN Citrus
University of California
NCPN Citrus

Remembrance of Don Ferrin

DFerrin
Dr. Donald M. Ferrin, 61, founding member of the Citrus Clean Plant Network, passed away on December 25, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Don was born in Rochester, Minnesota in 1951.  He obtained his BS (1974) and MS (1976) degrees in Botany and Plant Pathology at Michigan State University.  From 1976-1980, he worked as a plant pathologist for Yoder Brothers, Inc., in Alva, Florida.  He then obtained his PhD (1985) from the University of Florida.  Don’s doctoral studies focused on the epidemiology of soilborne pathogens with emphasis on Phytophthora species.  After a one-year post-doc at UF, he served as an Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology (1986-1994) with the University of California-Riverside. From 1994 to 2005, Don served as a diagnostician and researcher for a private laboratory and as a research staff associate for UC-Riverside.  In 2005, he joined the Department of Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology (PPCP), LSU AgCenter, as an Extension Plant Pathologist with commodity responsibilities for all horticultural crops in Louisiana.

In 2010 Don was elected to serve in the first Governing Board of the Citrus Network of the National Clean Plant Network. The National Clean Plant Network for Citrus is a body of researchers, extension specialists, state regulatory personnel and industry stakeholders from California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana and Hawaii that formed the NCPN Citrus, a part of the National Clean Plant Network. Don was one of the major collaborators representing the Louisiana Citrus Center. 

Don was a passionate plant pathologist conducting research on the etiology, ecology, epidemiology and management of fungal diseases of ornamental crops, and the epidemiology of plant diseases.  While with the LSU AgCenter, Don was a major contributor to extension programming that assisted thousands of agricultural industry personnel and homeowners in the state.  He was well regarded for consistently delivering outstanding extension and research materials to this diverse clientele. Don’s outstanding publications and presentations catapulted him into being recognized as one of the leading authorities on disease management in the state as well as the Southeastern region. 

Most importantly, Don was intelligent, kind, patient and always curious about plant diseases.  He was innovative, creative, had a splendid subtle wit and was an absolute pleasure to be around both academically and socially.  Don was not just an intellectual; he was also always interested in the well-being of others. He was one of the great ‘nice guys’ who worked hard, supported his co-workers, his undergraduate and graduate students, and contributed greatly to the science of plant pathology. His depth of knowledge and clear thoughts about how things worked will be truly missed.  Since Don came from a family of teachers, he, too, truly enjoyed all aspects of teaching.  As a reflection of his interests and commitments to teaching and research, Don’s wife, Pam, has helped to create the Don Ferrin Teaching Student Fund in the PPCP Department. 

Webmaster Email: jsjacobs@ucdavis.edu