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April 25, 2006

Douglas Sanders dies April 17

Douglas Charles Sanders, professor of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University, died after a brief illness on Monday, April 17. Sanders was internationally recognized for his expertise in vegetable production. He developed his love of plants and horticulture at a young age, growing up on a family farm in Mason, Michigan.

Sanders received his bachelor’s degree in vegetable crops in 1965 from Michigan State University. He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in horticulture in 1967 and 1970, respectively, from the University of Minnesota. He began his professional career at North Carolina State University in 1970 as an assistant professor specializing in vegetable production and was promoted to full professor in 1982.

Sanders was committed to the teaching and research of vegetable production systems and their application worldwide. His life was filled with numerous accomplishments and recognitions as he provided leadership in many facets of the vegetable industry. He worked closely with North Carolina farmers and county extension agents to improve their vegetable production knowledge.

His advice was sought after by all who worked with vegetables not only in North Carolina, but in the U.S and around the world as well. His accomplishments included the establishing the N.C. Vegetable Growers Association, introducing numerous new vegetable technologies (drip irrigation, plasticulture, precision seeding) and introducing new crops to North Caorlina, including asparagus, broccoli, sweet onions and leaf lettuce.

Sanders served as vice president of the Extension Division of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) in 1992-93. In 1992 he was named a Fellow of ASHS, and he will receive the 2006 Outstanding International Horticulturist Award posthumously at the ASHS Annual Conference in New Orleans in August. He served as president of the Southern Region ASHS in 2000.

Sanders distinguished himself as an international horticulturist with 38 trips abroad in the last two decades, working with and mentoring many students from Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru, Chile, China and Thailand.

Sanders taught undergraduate and graduate courses and utilized new distance education technologies to reach audiences across North Carolina. He was a tireless worker with a passion for horticultural science and seemingly boundless amounts of energy. All who knew him benefited from his innovative ideas, unselfish encouragement and thoughtfulness. Doug will be missed not only professionally, but by all of his many friends for whom he was an inspiration and a great counselor. Doug is survived by his wife, Ellen, and sister, Mary Sanders.

An endowment in Doug Sanders’ name is being established. Contributions can be sent to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., Box 7645, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7645.

Posted by Natalie at April 25, 2006 11:41 AM