Warren S. Barham, Ph.D., Gilroy, California
Warren Barham was born in Prescott, Arkansas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Arkansas in 1940 and a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Vegetable Crops and Plant Physiology from Cornell University in 1950. For more than 20 years, he worked in administration, research and teaching at Cornell, North Carolina State, and Texas A&M. He has worked many years in industry at a variety of seed companies before founding his own company, Barham Seeds, Inc. in 1986.
Dr. Barham has had a productive research career. He demonstrated that male sterility in onion is stable and may be used in producing hybrid onion seed. He determined the inheritance of nematode resistance in tomato, seed size in watermelon, flavor factors in cucumber and tomato, and studied a physiological disorder in watermelon. He found resistance to anthracnose (a fungus) in watermelons and demonstrated that bacterial wilt resistance could be combined with satisfactory quality in tomato. He characterized the relationship of calcium nutrition to blossom-end rot in tomatoes with colleagues at North Carolina State University. While in industry, Dr. Barham and his staff developed 36 cultivars and hybrids of onions, which were responsible for increasing the dry yield of onion solids by 43%. He also developed procedures for controlling stem and bulb nematodes and improving cropping practices that resulted in a doubling of garlic yields.
Dr. Barham lives in Gilroy, California where he maintains an active hand in his family business whose operation he shares with two of his four adult children.