Edward B. Knipling retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after working as a research service administrator since 2004.

U.S. agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, announced Knipling’s retirement in an Aug. 30 news release.

“Under his leadership, ARS has developed a globally recognized program of breeding and genetics for plants and animals,” Vilsack said in the release.

Leading nearly 2,000 scientists, Knipling has provided support to about 800 ongoing USDA research projects, according to the statement.

Knipling contributed to crop improvement and disease resistance. He also directed agricultural research service focus to nutrition and childhood obesity.

Knipling comes from a long legacy of USDA service. Nearly eight decades of the Knipling family worked for the USDA, including his father, entomologist Edward F. Knipling, who contributed to technology that led to the elimination of the screwworm from the U.S, Mexico, and Central America, according to the release.