Curtis R. Thompson, Professor and Extension Specialist for Weed Science, to retire after 25 years at K-State

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Curtis Thompson, Professor and Extension Specialist for Weed Science and Agronomy Extension State Leader, will conclude his tenure in the Department of Agronomy on July 18, 2018. He has 25 years of professional service to Kansas State University, The College of Agriculture, and Kansas State Research and Extension, with 40 years total in the work force.


Curtis grew up on a diversified farm in north central North Dakota. After earning a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University in 1978, he was employed as a research technician in weed science at NDSU while working on and attaining a master’s degree in 1983. He served as a research agronomist from 1982 to 1989 at the NDSU North Central Research and Extension Center in Minot, ND. Thompson moved on to graduate school in August 1989 and worked as a technician in weed science at the University of Idaho while working on and attaining a Ph.D. in Plant Science in 1993. 

Thompson began his tenure with K-State on July 18th, 1993 at the Southwest Research Extension Center, Garden City as Assistant Professor and the Crops and Soils Extension Specialist responsible for Agronomic programing in Southwest Kansas. Curtis thoroughly enjoyed working directly with Ag Agents and Farmers conducting applied research and doing extension work. He moved through the ranks attaining Associate and Full Professor and served in this position for almost 15 years.

In 2008 Curtis moved to the Manhattan campus to assume the duties of Professor and Extension and Research Specialist in Weed Science in the Department of Agronomy. He focused on weed management in grain sorghum and corn as well as focusing on herbicide-resistant weed management, especially kochia and Palmer amaranth. Over the years, Thompson’s efforts have led to the registration of several herbicides in corn, sorghum, and sunflower. Thompson and colleagues developed strategies for controlling glyphosate resistant kochia in western Kansas. Thompson discovered the first HPPD-resistant Palmer amaranth in the U.S. and has worked with Dr. Mithila Jugulam, weed physiologist in Agronomy, to unravel the resistance mysteries.

Thompson has served as the State Extension Leader for Agronomy since July 2012.  Thompson has been recognized by his peers, receiving the Fellow award from the American Society of Agronomy and the North Central Weed Science Society.

During the early part of Thompson’s career, Curtis married his wife, Meri and they have 3 children: Keilah (spouse Anna), Krista (spouse Joshua), and Ryan (spouse Dawn) and 9 grandchildren.

A retirement coffee is planned for July 18, Wednesday afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 pm in Room 2002, Throckmorton Hall, at Kansas State University.

An informal gathering for food, beverage, and conversation will be held on July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Thompson residence, 5811 Edgewater Rd, Wamego, KS. All are welcome to attend while supplies last