James A. Bethke

James A. Bethke was born on August 21, 1953 in Milwaukee, WI, and he continues as an avid Green Bay Packer fan. He grew up with a passion for the insect world, which is evident in his presentations, trainings and pest management seminars. He is fond of telling how when visiting friends and neighbors, he would be in the backyard turning over the boards and rocks and checking the outdoor lights for new and interesting bugs. As a budding young scientist and much to his mother’s dismay, he would bring the many jars full of creatures into his room and study them.


Mr. Bethke began his career in March of 1981 working for Dr. Michael Parrella in the Ornamentals Project in the Department of Entomology at University of California Riverside (UCR). He attained a BS and MS in Entomology during his tenure at UCR and in 1987 became a Staff Research Associate in the department working on pest management and various invasive pests in the ornamental plant production industry. In 2005 Mr. Bethke became the Nursery and Floriculture Advisor for University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in San Diego and Riverside Counties. In 2010 he became the County Director for UCCE San Diego with supervisory and management responsibilities.


During his 35-year career, he has written over 800 technical reports, newsletters, popular press articles, and scientific publications. As an Advisor, Mr. Bethke has made a notable addition to the scientific body of knowledge with 62 peer-reviewed publications including 39 scholarly journal articles, 16 of which were senior author publications. Further, Mr. Bethke is frequently an invited speaker at many scientific and technical seminars and workshops and has spoken at many public venues about the wonderful world of insects. He has given over 300 scientific and technical presentations and over 300 non-technical presentations to the public.


Mr. Bethke is a member of the Entomological Society of America, Entomological Association of Southern California, Pesticide Applicators Professional Association (PAPA), American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS), and an affiliate member of the San Diego County Flower and Plant Association and the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA). Due to his reputation and experience, he is the Science Advisor to the Center for Applied Horticulture Research and for the California Citrus Nursery Board, and he has been a member of numerous scientific and technical advisory committees including California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) Diaprepes Advisory Committee, Light Brown Apple Moth Task Force, Eye Gnat Research and Education Project, CDFA Nursery Advisory Board, Gold Spotted Oak Borer (GSOB) Technical Steering Committee, UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance Executive and Editorial Committees, Q-biotype Technical Advisory Committee, European Pepper moth Task Force, and the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer Working Group.



Mr. Bethke’s research and education efforts in Cooperative Extension have been recognized by UC and by the nursery and agricultural industries with significant awards that include the UCR Incentive and Professional Development Award 2005-6, Outstanding New Academic 2011, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Distinguished Service Award 2011, San Diego Co. Agricultural Commissioner Certificate of Excellence 2011, San Diego County Flower and Plant Association Outstanding Person of the Year Award 2013, California Association of Pest Control Advisers Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture 2013, and CANER’s Research Award 2014.



Mr. Bethke currently lives in Riverside County with his wife of 29 years and two of his three children. His wife is a teacher and an avid painter. His oldest daughter is married and going to college at the University of Alabama. His other daughter and youngest son are both attending community college. Mr. Bethke likes the outdoors and spends time fishing, camping and hiking, and of course, wherever he goes, he carries a small vial just in case he spots a new and interesting insect to add to his collection.




Cheryl Goar


Originally a dairy farmers daughter raised in Indiana, Cheryl Goar, CAE, has been Executive Director of the Arizona Nursery Association (ANA), a 250-member trade association for the wholesale and retail nursery industry, for the past 26 years.  As such, she manages a staff of three and a budget of just under $400,000.   She is responsible for the government regulations and lobbying as well as the public relations and administration of the association.  Cheryl also serves as director of the association’s 501c3 foundation, ANAFUND, which has a balance of just over $500,000.  The foundation provides over $27,000 in yearly scholarships to worthy students pursuing degrees in horticultural related fields.


Most recently, Cheryl has been recognized as the driving force behind the Plant Something campaign, a national marketing program for the green industry.  Under her direction, the association received its first grant in 2010 to develop the program and since its inception, has received over $500,000 in grant funds and has taken the program to 25 partner states.


She holds a B.S. in Communication with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations from Purdue University, a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Arizona State University and a Masters in Agribusiness from Arizona State University.  Cheryl received her Certified Association Executive designation in 1999 from the American Society of Association Executives.  Formerly the Marketing Director at ANA, she has been active in the non-profit and agricultural arena in Arizona for over 28 years.


Cheryl is active in many associations including Past President of the Arizona Society of Association Executives and current President of the Project CENTRL leadership development program board.  She is also a proud Past President of Board of Directors for the Nursery & Landscape Association Executives of North America.



Carl Kah

Chief Executive Officer

K-Rain Manufacturing Corporation

In 1953, Carl Kah graduated with honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Immediately following graduation, Carl served in the US Army Artillery corps from 1953 through 1959. There, he graduated “first in class” from the 53-week Guided Missile Staff Officer Training Course.  After being honorably discharged, Kah joined Pratt Whitney Aircraft in the Applied Research and Propulsion Division. He was resident at the company’s Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, research and development facility.  At Pratt Whitney, Carl Kah served as Deputy Program Manager for the Air Force’s reusable rocket engine program. The technology developed there precedes the engine currently employed in NASA space shuttles. Kah was project engineer for United Aircraft’s first large gas dynamic laser, the largest in the world at the time.

In 1974, Carl Kah founded K-Rain Manufacturing Corporation. The company manufactured and marketed his newly patented concept for an automatic residential irrigation control system. Today, Carl holds over 80 patents (list attached) specific to the irrigation industry. He continues to leverage his engineering expertise and creativity to further develop innovative technology and industry-leading advancements in irrigation.


In 1988 Kah was honored as Florida Small Business Leader of the Year and represented the State of Florida in Washington.  His involvement in community and industry service has continued since.  Kah is past president of the Florida Irrigation Society, founding director and past president of the Palm Beach County Word Trade Council, former director and past chairman of the Education Committee for the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, past member of the Department of Commerce District Export Council and a founding director of a Palm Beach County Bank.  Kah served for a number of years on the Executive Advisory Committee for Florida Atlantic University and the Advisory Committee for Palm Beach Community College.  Kah was invited to the White House and participated in discussions regarding the passing of NAFTA.



Kah’s industry innovations include:

  • Invention of the K-Rain 6000 and 4000 Series Indexing Valves which are a very dependable  and low cost design for pump and well applications
  • Improved the drive mechanism for gear driven rotors with the design and patent of the third reversing spring.  This innovation biases the gear drive, eliminating the neutral position (an inherent problem for all gear driven sprinklers). This feature is incorporated in all K-Rain gear driven rotors making them very reliable
  • Invention of the arc indication on the top of the sprinkler, which dramatically improves the ease and simplicity of setting the sprinkler’s arc of oscillation
  • Invention and design of the clutch mechanism in the K-Rain ProPlus and SuperPro, which returns the sprinkler to the preset pattern when the riser is moved out of position
  • Invention and design of the feature in all K-Rain ProPlus and SuperPro of full 360 degree and adjustable arc within one gear driven rotor;
  • Invention and design of an improved flow shut off feature for the K-Rain SuperPro which allows flow shut off for nozzle changing, as well as range reduction plus flow reduction with no low pressure drop in the main flow path.  This innovation improves the distribution pattern
  • Invention and design of the tilt valve K-Rain 100 Series Electric Valves for improved self-cleaning and very low pressure drop.


Presently, K-Rain is the industry’s third largest manufacturer of half-inch and three quarter-inch gear driven rotors. Operating from its headquarters in Riviera Beach, Florida, K-Rain develops and manufactures products for the professional and consumer marketplace.  Having grown from one employee in 1974, K-Rain currently employs a diverse workforce of over 350 people with facilities in Florida and the Dominican Republic.

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