Photo/ Adam Louis - Dr. Jim Krall looks up from checking crops in a field at SAREC Monday morning. After more than 30 years of work in agriculture and research, Krall is retiring.
LINGLE – After more than 30 years, developing seven crop varieties and publication in 19 scientific journals, Dr. Jim Krall has quite a bit to show for his work.
Krall is the director of research at the University of Wyoming James C. Hageman Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) in Lingle and is soon to close a chapter on his 34-year career in agriculture and research.
“I’ve really enjoyed it,” Krall said of his time at SAREC. “It’s been a good career, and I’ve worked with a lot of really nice people.”
Krall’s career seemed to be a natural choice, taking after his father, who was an agronomist at Montana State University.
“I admired what he did, and it was pretty easy for me to get into that line of his work and follow his path,” he said.
He was an agronomist for Holly Sugar, working in Sheridan for two years before returning to graduate school in 1976. Krall completed his doctorate at Kansas State University in 1979, and worked at the University of Nevada in Reno for about four years before coming to Goshen County in 1984.
“We wanted to put down roots, and it’s been really great,” Krall said. “We really like this community. I have some good friends, and I plan to stay here when I retire.”
Krall lives with his wife, Mary, and they have three sons: Greg, Gary and Mark.
“My wife Mary and my kids have been very supportive and put up with (my work) over the years,” Krall said. “(They’ve) lived through it all with me, and that’s been great.”
Krall’s research helped bring about seven varieties of crops, including a variety of millet, a variety of winter canola and a type of annual forage called Laramie Medic.
“I really had a good bunch of people I worked with over the years,’ Krall said.
He added he as been to Australia several times on research, releasing medic and pea varieties as a result of the trips.
He’s currently helping research lupin, a type of high-protein grain used for stock feed he hopes to bring to the area.
“It’s very high in protein. If we can find some material that can adapt to this region, they’d probably make a pretty good dry-land crop,” Krall said.
He is also collaborating with Texas Tech University on safflower research.
Krall has not yet heard if he’s attained emeritus status as a professor but is optimistic. He said the status would allow him more flexible hours as well as an opportunity to focus more on his research.
Krall said he’s excited to see what work will continue at SAREC.
“We’re really getting some really good, ambitious young faculty,” he said. “I hope they replace my position OK and maybe carry on stuff I’ve started. I also realize they want to go their own way, too.”
Overall, Krall said, his career with SAREC and UW has been satisfying.
“I hope I did some good along the way,” he said. “I always felt public service was a high calling and important. I met a lot of great people along the way.”
A reception for Krall will be held from 1-4 p.m. Friday at SAREC, located at 2753 State Highway 157 in Lingle.
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