LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Don Johnson, who has spent much of his life battling insects that threaten farming, will retire March 31 after 22 years of service with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Johnson, who grew up in Valley Springs (Boone County), Ark., lives in Cabot, Ark., and works at the Lonoke Agricultural Extension and Research Center. He heads up Extension’s Pest Management Section.

He’ll leave with the praise and thanks of a grateful university.

The University of Arkansas’ Board of Trustees has approved a resolution that will honor the entomologist. It notes, in part, that:

• Johnson has been recognized as one of the leading entomologists in the South and has gained a reputation in the field.

• His outstanding service has been recognized with numerous awards including the John W. White Outstanding Extension Educator Award and the Rice Technical Working Group’s Outstanding Rice Research and Extension Team Award.

• He has served as president of the Arkansas Association of Cooperative Extension Specialists, president of the Southeast Branch of the Entomological Society and president of the Arkansas Entomological Society.

• Through his dedicated service, he has helped enrich lives, enhance the economic well-being of and protect the environment of Arkansas citizens.

Ivory W. Lyles, associate vice president for agriculture — Extension, released this statement about Johnson:

“Dr. Johnson has made significant contributions to this organization and to the producers of Arkansas during his 22 years of service. He has been the driving force behind the Pest Management Section.

“Under his leadership, the Cooperative Extension Service has taken a lead in helping producers remain productive. His efforts have enhanced the reputation of the Extension service.”

Lyles credited Johnson with forming a team of university faculty two years ago that was responsible for helping rice farmers significantly reduce the losses they were experiencing from a devastating attack by stink bugs.

Johnson, a former assistant/associate professor at Clemson University, joined the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in December 1981. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Arkansas and his Ph.D. from North Carolina State University.

Johnson said after retirement he plans to serve as an agricultural consultant, travel, write, fish, hunt and play golf.

Lamar James is an Extension communications specialist with the University of Arkansas.