UACES Facebook Entomologist returns home to battle Arkansas pests
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Entomologist returns home to battle Arkansas pests

By Sarah Cato
U of A System Division of Agriculture
July 9, 2018 

Fast facts:

  • Extension entomologist Ben Thrash starts Aug. 1
  • Thrash excited to be back in his home state 

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LITTLE ROCK – After receiving a doctorate degree in entomology from Mississippi State University, Arkansan Ben Thrash is coming home to serve as the new extension field crop entomologist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. 


In Mississippi, Thrash worked on refining defoliation thresholds in soybeans. He’s taking his lessons from his three and a half years there, along with master’s degree in entomology from UA–Fayetteville, where he studied stinkbugs in edamame, to his new position where he’ll work to convey university research to Arkansas producers. 

“The job is 100 percent extension,” Thrash said. “Along with answering pest control questions for growers, I’ll be conducting applied research to develop and refine thresholds, evaluate efficacy of insecticides and transgenic crops and overall find ways to make growers more profitable.” 

With more 12 years of experience in research and plot work throughout his academic career, Thrash is excited to finally have a set position in the field. 

“I just really enjoy doing the research,” he said. “My family farms in Conway and they rely on the recommendations the Division of Agriculture makes. I want to be a part of that. I want to help growers make good decisions and help them be profitable.” 

Thrash said that passion is what will make this new position so rewarding for him. 

“I love seeing the effort we put in come to fruition,” he said. “It’s such a great thing that we get to see all of our hard work put to good use.” 

Love for his home state seems to be the icing on the cake for Thrash, as he gets to do what he wants, where he wants.

“I wanted to come back home,” he said. “I love Arkansas. The agriculture, the mountains, kayaking, fishing and of course family. I love all of it.” 

Thrash begins his new job Aug. 1. 

For more information on insect management, visit


About the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.  

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your county extension office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.  

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Media Contact: Ryan McGeeney
Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2120