BS, Horticulture, University of Missouri
MS, Agronomy, Iowa State University
Andrew Thomas enjoys conducting research on a wide variety of horticultural and agroforestry crops and crop production techniques. His main research interests include the development of overlooked native fruit and nut crops with commercial potential, but he also studies aspects of mainstream horticultural crop production. His research projects at the Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center have included black walnuts, pecans, hickories, persimmons, pawpaws, elderberries, blackberries, grapes, apples, tomatoes, melons, asparagus, culinary and medicinal herbs, wildflowers, prairie restoration, wood biomass quantification and high tunnel and solar-heated greenhouse production.
Before coming to the Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center in 1996, Andy worked for two agricultural biotech companies in California and Wisconsin, the Center for Plant Conservation at Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, and the Rwandan Agricultural Research Institute as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He has consulted internationally on numerous horticultural and agroforestry projects, and currently serves as a Director of Ozark Regional Land Trust. Andy and his wife, Diann, live in southwest Missouri near the town of Monett, where they farm 70 acres tending a variety of fruit, nut and hay crops.