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2017 CASNR Distinguished Alumnus: Bill Lingren

A self-professed hayseed country boy, Bill Lingren says it was mostly luck that led him to pursue entomology at Oklahoma State University after attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College.

His brother Pete was studying in the OSU Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and sold Bill on the idea it would be a great career path for a rural kid who liked science. Turns out, Pete was right.

Bill graduated in 1969 with his bachelor’s degree. He credits his degree, along with his subsequent focus on integrated pest management, with providing a foundation for his successful career.

The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at OSU recently honored Lingren as a 2017 Distinguished Alumni of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

After working in private industry for several years, he purchased an entire product line from Zoecon Corporation, promptly renaming it Trécé after his lucky number and the 13th column – the profit column – on a typical spreadsheet. The product lines were some of the most important innovations in insect management in the 20th century and ultimately positioned the company as a leader in the green movement.

“He and his wife, Donna, who is a co-owner, manufacture and market pheromone and kairomone-based insect monitoring and control systems in the United States and worldwide,” said Phil Mulder, EPP department head.

Some of Trécé’s products are sold for consumer lawn and garden use through major U.S. brands, such as Black Flag, Spectrum and Scotts.

In 2002, Lingren relocated the company from California to his hometown of Adair, Oklahoma. He and Donna oversee product development and business in 60 countries worldwide and still find time to support their local community.

“The Lingrens are a vital part of the surrounding community, employing nearly 20 people from the area,” Mulder said. “All employees are trained in the lean manufacturing technique, running the company very efficiently and effectively. In addition, they fund the Jim Boston scholarship program, which provides four scholarships annually to deserving students at Adair High School, where Bill graduated.”

A firm believer in the power of industry, university and producer partnerships and collaboration, Bill chaired the IPM committee of the Western Agricultural Chemical Association for many years, where he served in key leadership advisory roles and was named the organization’s member of the year.

He also led the Computers for Agriculture initiative – some of the first work integrating technology with application to improve IPM efficiency.