College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

Ken Eastwell to receive Excellence in Regulatory Affairs and Crop Security Award from The American Phytopathological Society

eastwellThis prestigious award recognizes outstanding contributions to regulatory plant pathology, crop security, and trade enhancement efforts by APS members. Dr. Eastwell was selected to receive this award in recognition of his many and significant contributions related to development of methods to detect and eliminate virus and virus-like agents that cause diseases of perennial specialty crops such as fruit trees, hops and grapevines. His roles in advancing the USDA APHIS National Clean Plant Network and as Director/Plant Pathologist of the Clean Plant Center-Northwest are particularly noteworthy, and together with his other numerous achievements, make him highly deserving of the Excellence in Regulatory Affairs and Crop Security Award.  Congratulations, Ken!

Following is an excerpt from the nomination:

Dr. Eastwell has provided invaluable research and leadership on viruses and viroids of high-value, temperate climate, specialty crops as detailed in the attached Nomination Statement. In 2012, the U.S. value of production for temperate tree fruit crops was $5.4 billion, grape production was $4.9 billion, and hop production was $200 million. Dr. Eastwell’s program developed testing methods that have been incorporated into propagation and certification programs for these crops regionally, nationally, and internationally. Since 1997, as Director of the National Research Project Number 5 (NRSP-005) funded by USDA-CSREES, Dr. Eastwell provided exemplary leadership for development and distribution of virus-free fruit tree clones to researchers and industry nationwide. He was also Manager of the Washington Certified (Hop) Planting Stock Program and Co-Director of the Northwest Grape Foundation Service until his appointment as Director/Plant pathologist of the Clean Plant Center Northwest in 2011 consolidated foundation programs for fruit tree, grapevines and hop plants into a unified project. His major role in advancement of the USDA-APHIS National Clean Plant Network for virus control in specialty crops in the U.S. resulted in his election as Chair of the specialty crop committee representing fruit trees nationally in the National Clean Plant Network. He also directs the WSU ELISA Virus Testing Laboratory, adding crucial capacity to the nation’s virus testing services. The impact of Dr. Eastwell’s efforts at enhancing crop security in the U.S. is reflected in the fact that most commercially important fruit tree planting material entering the U.S. is first screened in the foundation program he manages before being released to industry. The specialty crop industries served by his program are extremely fortunate to be served by someone as proficient and dedicated as Dr. Eastwell. His sustained productivity working with unique and demanding perennial crop production systems, and tireless leadership in virus and viroid research, testing, and certification programs make him most deserving of the APS Award for Excellence in Regulatory Affairs and Crop Security.

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