By Rebecca Nagy
Chad Poole joined the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) as an assistant professor and extension specialist. He received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in biological and agricultural engineering.
This role will provide extension support and research in agricultural irrigation, drainage, water management, and rural water supply issues at the local and watershed scale. Impacts of the program will include optimizing crop yields while protecting environmental quality, protecting rural water sources, along with preparation, response, and recovery from droughts and floods.
Poole is looking to bring his firsthand experiences and knowledge to the position and the stakeholders of North Carolina.
“I was born and raised on a small family farm in North Carolina and have seen first-hand the benefits of both research and extension,” Poole says. “My agricultural background has provided a solid understanding of water-related issues that the agricultural and rural communities face throughout the state. The driving force for all producers is profitability.”
He notes that efficiency in water use pays huge dividends to the end-user.
“I am looking forward to bringing my background in production agriculture, engineering and research to identify, develop, and demonstrate potential solutions to water related problems faced by citizens of North Carolina. Most importantly, I am looking forward to working directly with the agricultural community and residents throughout the state.”
In North Carolina, the primary cause of agricultural losses is water-related stresses. Too much or too little water is a frequent challenge for many of North Carolina’s producers.
“Many of our counties have had to deal with flooding from high intensity rainfall events and tropical systems,” Poole explains. “Water contamination, saltwater intrusion, and rising sea levels have caused significant problems for residents both in agriculture and rural communities.”
Poole believes that protecting water resources for current and future generations is a major challenge in North Carolina.
“Our role is to focus on tools that can be used to prepare for, resolve, or mitigate the impacts of these issues while minimizing the economic impacts to residents, industry, and the environment. BAE and NC State Extension will continue to build on our robust history of offering support to residents of North Carolina in this area.
Utilizing applied research, outreach and the development and demonstration of new technologies will continue to be a top priority.