Ron Whitehurst is a licensed Pest Control Advisor (PCA) and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. with his wife Jan Dietrick. Their team produces and markets biological pest control supplies Ron leads Rincon-Vitova in the field and lab, evaluating products and practices that fit into a biocontrol program and support organic production. He guides people through creating and managing ecosystems to minimize and control pests, using insect habitat, cultural methods, beneficial insects, and soft pesticides when needed. An avid permaculture practitioner, he loves making compost, building soil, and creating bio-intensive food producing landscapes. He is a great cook and fermenter.

Ron has been communicating about organic methods of farming and gardening for over 30 years. He engages participants in lectures and workshops about biological control of insect pests in field, greenhouse, landscape, garden and animal rearing situations. His lively discussions about insect lifecycles and predator-prey relationships make biocontrol science easy while technical audiences always learn from his depth of knowledge and experience.

After earning a BA in Biology, he got his PCA license in 1980 and over the years has attended and presented at numerous organic farming and pest control conferences. Ron learned an agroecological paradigm for pest management from his mentor Everett (Deke) Dietrick who was pioneering biocontrol entomologist and insect ecologist. Deke has done research with the academic lights of biocontrol in the 1960’s and 70’s–as Robert Van den Bosch, Paul De Bach and others. Deke mentored Ron and many others in many settings, including as a field scout in cotton and alfalfa for the Sustainable Cotton Project.

In 1921 Ron was selected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to serve the Work Group that created a comprehensive plan to transition the state away from high-risk pesticides toward the adoption of safer, sustainable pest management practices. He feels honored to have been able to share with the other SPM Work Group members, leaders in their fields, his confidence in an agroecological approach to pest prevention on farms and landscapes. He appreciates the honor given to Rincon-Vitova Insectaries of the 2016 Global Regenerative Business Prize the first year the prize was given.

Ron has presented at the Ecological Farming, Texas Organic Producers and Carolina Farm Stewardship Conferences, ACRES USA, So Cal Entomology Club, Association of Applied IPM Ecologists, Pesticide Applicators Professional Association, Ojai Horticulture Society, Ventura County Rose Society, the Santa Barbara Green Gardener Program, G.S. Long Organic Workshops, and many lay audiences. He gives talks on Cockroaches, Pests of Avocados, Organic Production, and workshops on Weeds as Soil Indicators and Edible Weeds. Ron is a member of the Entomological Society of America, Associations of Applied IPM Ecologists and Natural Biocontrol Producers, California Agricultural Production Advisors, Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association, and Seed-Savers Exchange.

Contact: 805-643-5407