In memoriam: Chuck Wilson
Born in Ely, Nev., Wilson was raised in Placerville and Lincoln and earned his B.S. in animal science at UC Davis in 1954. After college, he served in the U.S. Army in the Veterinary Food Inspection Service. After he was discharged from the Army in 1956, Wilson worked as a livestock buyer for Cudahy Meat Packing Company in San Diego.
Wilson joined UC Cooperative Extension in 1961 as a 4-H advisor in San Diego, then transferred to Butte County in 1962 to be a farm advisor. In 1969, he became the livestock advisor in Glenn County office for a year before taking the livestock advisor position in the Yuba-Sutter office in 1970.
“Chuck conducted research on irrigated pasture management and supplementation of selenium in cattle,” recalled Glenn Nader, fellow UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor emeritus. “I always enjoyed his humor and positive attitude.”
Among his research projects, Wilson studied fertilization of annual rangeland and other rangeland forage production. He also served as a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center for several years.
“I started in UC Cooperative Extension in March 1986,” said Roger Ingram, livestock and natural resources advisor emeritus. “I considered Chuck a mentor in my early career. I worked with Chuck and Mel [George] on a SFREC research project on warm season grass variety trial that also evaluated different irrigation scheduling and animal grazing preferences for the warm season grasses.
“I remember Chuck as being a resource for assessing body condition scoring of cows to assess their nutritional status. He also helped with a study on the effect of pelvic area on calving difficulty. He was involved in reproductive studies at SFREC looking at breeding yearling heifers to bulls of three different breeds.”
Mike Connor, who worked with Wilson as a UC Cooperative Extension specialist and a Sierra Foothill REC superintendent, said, “He was active in support of the Yuba-Sutter Cattlemen's Association and served as their secretary for many years. He was also a long-term, active supporter and leader for the beef carcass contest and livestock auction for 4-H and FFA at the Yuba-Sutter Fair.”
Wilson was also named the UCCE director for Yuba and Sutter counties in 1989 until he retired in 1995.
“He enjoyed his years in extension where he felt he made a difference serving local livestock producers,” said his son Dennis Wilson.
Chuck Wilson is survived by his wife Valerie and their five children: Dennis, Joyce, Janice, Tammy and Beth, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, Wilson asked that people contribute to their favorite charity. Sympathy cards can be addressed to Valerie Wilson, C/O The Courtyards, 1240 Williams Way, Yuba City, CA 95991