Longtime Kern County agriculture expert, Hodge Black, dies at 83

Local News

Hodge Black, a civil servant who left a lasting footprint on Kern County’s agriculture industry, has died at the age of 83.

Black died on Aug. 10 with his family at his side.

He was born in Mount Ida, Arkansas in 1936. and graduated with a degree in entomology in 1961.

Shortly after he moved to Bakersfield to work as an entomologist for the UC Extension Service, helping local growers anticipate oncoming challenges from crop pests and devising strategies to combat them.

He was appointed the director Kern’s UC Extension Service after 15 years. He held onto that job until he retired in 2000.

Whether it was the outlook for the orange harvest, or an impending aphid infestation, Hodge Black was the go-to guy — Kern’s resident bug expert.

He helped many journalists better understand the ongoing struggles of man against pest on farms throughout Kern County.

Black is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Alice, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A celebration of life service is scheduled for Oct. 19 in his hometown of Mount Ida, Arkansas at the First United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Hodge Black Fund can be made to:

P.O. Box 607
Mount Ida, AR 71957

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