College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Pathology

Students Gain Experience in the Field

The 2014 offering of Pl P 525, Field Plant Pathology, took place in June and July 2014 with a record enrollment of 23 students (12 MS students and 11 PhD students), 16 from the Department of Plant Pathology, 6 from the Department of Crop & Soil Sciences, and 1 from Environmental Sciences). Course instructor was Dr. Lindsey du Toit.   The students toured various farms, orchards, nurseries, regulatory inspection facilities, labs, research centers, contract research facilities, and non-profit agricultural centers over 10 days: 9-13 June, 24 June, and 14-17 July. Students learned first-hand about plant diseases and agricultural production through visits to diverse sites across Washington State where they interacted with more than 50 researchers (public and private), diagnosticians, extension specialists, regulatory agents (from USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection Quarantine unit at the Port of Seattle, and the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Yakima, WA), farmers, farm managers, agronomists, orchardists, viticulturists, horticulturists, nurserymen, crop consultants, employees of non-governmental organizations working with beginner farmers, and employees of seed companies and other agricultural companies. The course included reading assignments complementary to the various sites, crops, diseases, and plant pathology issues covered. In addition, five farmers across the state, as well as extension specialists working in their regions, were interviewed by teams of 4 to 5 students. Each team prepared a disease management report on a particular disease affecting a crop produced by the farmer they interviewed. Despite the final stage of the course occurring during the hottest week of the year, the strong rapport that developed among the students resulted in an enjoyable and productive experience, as well as a new appreciation for the complexity of plant pathology and the diversity of career opportunities associated with plant diseases.


Many thanks to all WSU faculty, staff, and graduate students who participated in making a great experience for the students:

Gary Chastagner and staff/graduate students Marianne Elliot, Anna Leon, Katie McKeever, Katie Coats – WSU Puyallup REC
Dennis Johnson and Tom Cummings – WSU Pullman
Lindsey du Toit – WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
Ken Eastwell – WSU Prosser IAREC
Jenny Glass – WSU Puyallup REC
Gary Grove – WSU Prosser IAREC
Debra Inglis, Babette Gundersen, and graduate student Amy Salomone – WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
Steve Jones, Steve Lyon, and graduate students Louisa Winkler, Bethany Econopouly, Colin Curwin-McAdams, Brook Brouwer – WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
Don McMoran – WSU Skagit Co. Extension
Carol Miles and graduate students Charlene Grahn and Jesse Wimer – WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
Tim Murray – WSU Pullman
Mark Nelson – WSU Prosser IAREC
Naidu Rayapati – WSU Prosser IAREC
Tim Smith –  WSU Wenatchee Extension
Karen Ward – WSU Pullman
Tim Waters – WSU Franklin/Benton Counties Extension
Carrie Wohleb – WSU Grant/Adams Counties Extension

In addition, we extend our appreciation to guests outside of WSU who contributed to the course this year:

Ole Anderson and staff – Rijk Zwaan Seed Co., Quincy, WA
Tim St. Germain (Supervisor), Mike Creller (Botanist), and Emilie Bess (Entomologist) – USDA APHIS PPQ Plant Inspection Station, SeaTac Airport, WA
John Browning, Tom Stephens, Mike Poteet, and Todd Wilson – Weyerhaeuser Mima Nursery
Mick Qualls and staff – Qualls Ag Lab, Ephrata, WA
Shannon Carmody – Viva Farms, Skagit Co., WA
Victor Shaul and staff – Washington State Department of Agriculture Seed Program
Bill Wirth/Troy Hesse – Precision Seed Production, LLC, Ephrata, WA
Monte Spence, Dan Adamson, Ryan Eriksen, Jeremy Scroggins, Josh Scroggins, and Allen Smith – Washington Association of Professional Crop Consultants
Jessica Corcorran, Darwin Hintz, Phil Hintz – Trout Lake Farms, Ephrata, WA
Rick Hamman – Director of Viticulture, Hogue Ranches & Mercer Estate Winery, Prosser
Erik Zavala (Field Advisor) and Jamie Reyes (Orchard Manager) – Stemilt Growers, Wenatchee, WA
Scott Evans, Phil Webber – QFC and Farmer Bean Seed



Department of Plant Pathology, PO Box 646430, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6430, 509-335-9541, Contact Us
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