Our History in Horticulture

Horticulture retirees in reverse chronological order.


Robert McDuffie directed the Hahn Horticulture Garden and also taught residential landscape design, landscape construction, digital photography, and led countless student and study abroad trips. He received the prestigious Wine Reward in 2008.

Ron Morse did research on cover crops, cover crop rollers, transplanters, raised bed production, crop rotation and other aspects of conservation-oriented no–till vegetable growing. His efforts resulted in the adoption of no–till and no–till organic farming methods by vegetable farmers across a wide area.

Jerzy Nowak served as department head between 2000 and 2008. After this, he founded and directed the Virginia Tech Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention. He also served as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences International Programs Coordinator. Resume

Alan McDaniel served the department in a teaching and extension capacity. He taught Floral Design, Controlled Plant Environment, and Vegetable Crops. He has been the lead contact for FFA competitions held each year at Virginia Tech and at the Virginia State Fair, State FFA Convention and National FFA Convention. He taught classes for the Governor’s School here at Virginia Tech and was the Hort Club Advisor for several years.

Robert Wright served the department in a research and teaching capacity. He taught nursery crops, and grad level plant nutrition. He also served as the department head for 10 years and served as the graduate advisor. His research focused on nursery production.

Jerry Williams served the department in a teaching capacity. He taught small fruits, hort seminar, environmental factors and indoor plants. He served as an advisor for the hort club for many years. He served as co-coordinating counselor for our undergraduate students as well as an undergraduate advisor.

John Barden served the department in a teaching and research capacity. His research focused on fruit tree physiology research and pomology. He taught tree fruit production and fundamentals of hort production. He was a hort club advisor for many years. John started the tradition for our departmental chicken b-b-q that was held at the horticulture farm for many, many years and his b-b-q sauce was the best!

Diane Relf served the department in teaching and extension capacity. She taught horticulture therapy, hort concepts, and home horticulture classes. She served as the student advisor for the horticulture therapy option. She also served the horticulture club as their advisor for several years.

Human Issues in Horticulture Website

Charlie O’Dell served the department in an extension and research capacity. He specialized in commercial vegetable and small fruit production. He wrote the vegetable growers newsletter for years.

Paul L. Smeal served the department in an extension capacity. He taught short courses such as "How to Start a Greenhouse Business". He also led elderhostel groups on week-long events with trips to the Blue Ridge parkway to see the flaming azaleas and to discuss his dogwood research.

James (Jim) S. Coartney served the department as an undergraduate advisor and taught numerous courses, such as Plant Propagation, Woody Landscape Plants and a Garden Center Management course team taught with Paul Smeal. He was the hort club advisor for several years.

Howard (Jack) A. Rollins, Jr. served the department in an extension and research capacity. He specialized in fruit research at the Winchester farm. He also served as department head for several years.

James (Jimmy) A. Faiszt served the department in a teaching and extension capacity. He would travel to garden clubs to do presentations, etc., and would judge different flower competitions throughout Virginia. He advised students and was very involved with the horticulture club as an advisor. He taught floral design for years and stayed involved with the department coming to monthly birthday gatherings, yearly farm picnics, and just to visit with his many friends in horticulture.

Richard Lindstrom served the department in a teaching and extension capacity. Teaching foliage plants, pot plant production and cut flower production. Greenhouse management was his role in extension.

C. Leslie McCombs served the department in an extension and research capacity. He specialized in small fruits. He served as department head for many years and was an advisor to undergraduate students.

Edsel L. Phillips served the department in an extension capacity. He specialized in tree fruit in Charlottesville.

George E. Mattus served the department in a teaching and research capacity. He taught Postharvest Horticulture. His research focused on postharvest physiology, handling and marketing.

George Williams served the department in an extension capacity. He also did research at the fruit lab in Winchester. His last years were spent on campus.

JC Garrett served the department in an extension capacity. Not sure what specialization of extension, other than ornamental. Notice there are no periods after his initials — this was the topic of many conversations with another retiree by the name of Jimmy Faiszt.

Albert S. Beecher served the department in a teaching and extension capacity. He taught Landscape Design.

Wesley P. Judkins served the department as the department head for many years. He also taught the home horticulture class after serving as the department head.

Fred Drieling served the department in an extension capacity. He specialized in fruit.

Frank Horsfell, Jr. served the department in a research capacity. He specialized in fruit tree research. He is best known for his research on Orchard Mouse Control.

George D. Oberle served the department in a teaching and research capacity. He specialized in fruit breeding of apple, peach and grape varieties. He worked with Robert C. Moore.

Flood S. Andrews served the department in a research and teaching capacity. He was a vegetable crops specialist.

Robert C. Moore served the department in a research capacity. He specialized in fruit breeding of apple, peach and grape varieties. He worked closely with George Oberle.

Archibald G. Smith, Jr. served the department as an ornamentalist.

August A. Teske served the department in a teaching and research capacity. He taught several fruit classes and his extension focused on fruit. He ran the orchard "on the hill" (where the Skelton Inn sits now). After his death, his 2 daughters created an endowed scholarship, Teske/Smith Scholarship, to honor their father and to continue to support our horticulture students in the fruit industry.

Untitled Document