Pest Control Advisor and Co-Owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc.
Ron Whitehurst is a California licensed Pest Control Advisor and co-owner of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. with his wife Jan Dietrick. Their team produces and markets biological pest control supplies and was honored with the 2016 Global Regenerative Business Prize. Ron leads Rincon-Vitova in the field and lab. He evaluates products that fit into a biocontrol program and are acceptable for organic production. He guides people through the steps of creating and biologically 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.
Ron has been communicating about organic methods of farming and gardening for over 30 years. Specializing in biological pest control for farmers, gardeners, and practitioners, 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 the principles of biocontrol easy to understand for both lay and technical audiences.
After earning a BA in Biology at Indiana University, Ron worked as an organic garden writer in Indianapolis, and helped organize an organic grower association. On moving to California he got a PCA license and over the years has attended and presented at numerous organic farming and pest control conferences. Ron’s mentor and Jan’s father Everett (Deke) Dietrick, was a commercial biocontrol pioneer, who worked alongside academic lights of biocontrol in the 1960’s and 70’s, such as Robert Van den Bosch, Paul De Bach and others. Deke mentored Ron in many settings, including as a field scout in cotton and alfalfa for the Sustainable Cotton Project. He has led projects for the Dietrick Institute for Agroecology.
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, on Cockroaches, Pests of Avocados, G. S. Long Organic Workshops, 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, Biodyamic Farming and Gardening Association, and Seed-Savers Exchange.