His UGA Story
Nick graduated in December 2011 and began his career with a watercress producer, working as their grower coordinator in Tennessee. He was responsible for coordinating farm activities across several farms to ensure a consistent supply of watercress into the companies packing facilities. This included forecasting availability of the crop ready for harvest, planning and coordinating pesticide applications and harvest operations, and maintaining farm records. Nick also worked with the watercress growers to produce and ship plants to establish the winter production crop in Florida.
In January 2013, Nick changed career paths and became a County Extension Agent for UGA in Terrell County, Georgia. There Nick provided educational programming and technical assistance for local corn, cotton, and peanut farmers. He worked closely with UGA researchers to provide up-to-date information on a wide variety of agronomic and economic topics including variety selection, pest and disease management, harvest timing, and farm bill programs. Nick also worked to generate local research data by installing and collecting data on cotton and peanut variety trials, insecticide efficacy trials, and a cover crop pilot planting. He worked closely with the farmers and agribusinesses of Terrell county and the surrounding area, providing them with up-to-date research based information until January 2016.
Since then, Nick has worked as the Agronomist for the USDA-NRCS Jimmy Carter Plant Materials Center (PMC) in Sumter County, Georgia. Nick is responsible for leading the research efforts of the PMC as they work to answer questions surrounding conservation practices like cover crops, native warm season grass plantings, and establishment of pollinator habitat. This research works to inform USDA-NRCS state technical specialists and others across the Southeast, so that conservation efforts can be recommended and implemented to protect our natural resources. In addition to overseeing the research efforts of the PMC, Nick also manages the production of breeder seed for several conservation plant releases including ‘Americus’ Yellow Indiangrass, ‘Dove’ Proso Millet, and ‘AU Groundcover’ Caley Pea. After the seed is grown, harvested, and cleaned, it is then made available to commercial seed producers, who produce and market the next generation of seed to farmers and landowners that are interested in implementing conservation practices on their farms.