ISLE OF SKY NURSERY


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OUR SCIENCE EXPERTS

J. Julian Smith, Ph.D.  

President of CZO Agronomics, LLC.

He maintains an office in Carrizozo,

New Mexico.

 

Dr. Smith is currently President and Founder

of CZO Agronomics, a global consulting group devoted to technical advisory and end-to-end project management services in agribusiness and horticulture. Clients run the spectrum of private equity financial companies, basic manufacturing, distribution, dealer and farm gate consultations. Before founding CZO Agronomics, Dr. Smith was the Director of Discovery & Innovation after serving as National Sales Director for Brandt Consolidated, Inc. in Springfield, Illinois leading the company’s plant health research and new product development team. Prior to joining Brandt, Dr. Smith was the Vice-President of Plant Nutrition at Loveland Industries (UAP), and the Vice-President of Environment and Agronomy at the J.R. Simplot Company.

                                                             
Dr. Smith originally moved to America in 1987 to serve as the Director of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation and Vice-President of the National Fertilizer Solutions Association (NFSA). He is a past Board Chair and still serves on the Board of Directors of the Fluid Fertilizer Foundation. He received the prestigious Fluid Fellow Award in 2012.

 

Dr. Smith is a widely published agricultural professional in the fields of agronomy, environmental issues and precision agriculture. His career has been primarily concerned with plant nutrition and specialty products, as well as their positioning within the agricultural market-places of North America and Europe. The latter half of Dr. Smith’s career has focused on micro-nutrient, biostimulant, biological and plant growth regulator product application for all crops, to compliment his earlier research and market development on foliar nutrition and integrated crop management.


Dr. Smith holds a Ph. D. in small grains pathology and physiology from the University of Stirling, and a B.Sc. in Agricultural Botany from the University of Leeds. A native of Sheffield, England, Dr. Smith is now a naturalized U.S. citizen.

 

Dr. Jeffrey N. Wilson graduated Summa Cum Laude from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s in Horticulture in 2005 and his Master’s in 2008. Jeff’s M.S. research focused on screening peanut germplasm for resistance to soil-borne fungal diseases of the Texas High-Plains. He received a PhD in Plant Breeding in 2013 from Texas A&M University.

 

While at Texas A&M, Jeff was named a Tom Slick Fellow, which is awarded annually to the highest academically achieving PhD applicant in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. His PhD research introduced Jeff to the importance utilizing genes from wild crop relatives in modern plant variety development programs. Through the use of an amphidiploid bridge species, Jeff introduced genes from diploid wild peanut species that increased seed oil content into cultivated peanuts. He elucidated the heritability and gene action governing the high oil trait and discovered multiple major-effect QTLs for oil content and fatty acid composition.

 

He has given numerous presentations, published many peer-reviewed journal articles and recently authored a book chapter for Springer-Nature on peanut genetics and genomics. He currently works at Ready Roast Nut Company in Portales, New Mexico as a Valencia peanut agronomist and breeder. As a Valencia peanut breeder, Jeff is focused on maintaining the unique flavor of Valencia peanuts while increasing yields and oleic acid content in seeds. He currently farms an 8-acre peanut research farm near the Ready Roast plant.

 

In 2019, Jeff was elected president of the New Mexico Peanut Board, which actively promotes peanut production through research in the state. Jeff is also affiliated with ViTech Industries, a leading producer of humic-acid based, biologically active agriculture chemicals located in Maricopa, Arizona. Jeff works with peanut growers to create customized fertility programs that build plant and soil health naturally. 

 

Jeff discovered Isle of Sky Nursery in 2017 after reading an article in New Mexico Magazine. He immediately recognized the importance of preserving heirloom germplasm and drew parallels between Jaimee’s work and his own research in wild crop species. Jeff grows and tests locally-adapted, heirloom fruit trees and grapes from Isle of Sky Nursery at his small farm in New Home, Texas.

 

He also shares Jamiee’s passion for sustainable soil building. Jeff firmly believes we can reduce global usage of harmful synthetic agriculture chemicals through applying natural compounds and growing native species which have genetic resistance to pests and diseases.