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8th Annual Field Day Registration opens this Monday, June 3!

May 30, 2024



Cal Poly Strawberry Field Day 2024
Thursday, August 8, 2024

Hundreds of strawberry growers, researchers and industry representatives from all over California (and beyond) gather annually for the Strawberry Center Field Day.
Participants rotate through Automation, Entomology and Plant Pathology stations, hearing from Cal Poly students and staff about the latest research taking place at the Strawberry Center. Topics range from the newest automation technology to predatory mites to soil-borne pathogens of strawberry, and much more! Lunch will be served. https://strawberry.calpoly.edu/2019-events

Dr. Hewavitharana visits Georgia Brown Elementary for Career Day

Dr. Hewavitharana visits Georgia Brown Elementary for Career Day

May 28, 2024


Along with other local community professionals, Center Plant Pathologist Shashika Hewavitharana visited Georgia Brown Elementary in Paso Robles, CA for their Annual Career Day. Georgia Brown is a dual immersion magnet school with both English and Spanish instruction. A cohort of 112 students from four kindergarten classes participated in this session with Dr. Hewavitharana. She talked to them about the discipline of plant pathology, the career path of a Plant Doctor, Cal Poly University, and the importance of learning both English and Spanish. Children involved in an interactive 'Learn by Doing' activity of observing plant disease symptoms and signs including the strawberry postharvest disease called Botrytis fruit rot.

Center hosts Cal Poly Pomology students

Center hosts Cal Poly Pomology students

May 23, 2024


Field Technician Lawson Orradre and Center Director Dr. Gerald Holmes hosted two field labs for Dr. Lauren Garner’s Pomology II course on 23 Feb 2024. Why sit in a classroom and talk about what strawberry production looks like when you can walk 10 minutes to the Strawberry Center research fields and observe the crop first hand?

Only at Cal Poly SLO!

MS Student Sam Simard receives conference travel award

MS Student Sam Simard receives conference travel award

May 21, 2024


 

CONGRATULATIONS, SAM!!!

Cal Poly Strawberry Center M.S. Student and Research Associate Sam Simard has been awarded a $500 travel grant from the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS). The ASHS meeting will be held from 23 - 27 September in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Sam will be presenting a poster about her research project "Effect of Planting Date on Strawberry Yield".

Alfredo Villicana-Bedolla (Reiter Affiliated Companies) visits Center and presents on Integrated Pest Management

Alfredo Villicana-Bedolla visits Center and presents on Integrated Pest Management

May 16, 2024


Alfredo Villicana-Bedolla (Senior Regulatory and Compliance Manager) (right) and Joshua Beltran (Lab Supervisor) (left) of Reiter Affiliated Companies gave a lecture (24 April 2024) at Cal Poly on "Integrated Pest Management" (IPM) in berries. They covered the use of biologicals in pest management, including predatory mites, parasitoids, Trichoderma, and a grower’s playbook for spotted wing Drosophila (SWD). Our students consistently receive first-hand knowledge and insights from some of the strawberry industry's most experienced and seasoned professionals.

Thank you to Alfredo and Joshua for making the trip to Cal Poly and imparting your IPM knowledge and experience to our students!

View their presentation slides (PDF) @ https://content-calpoly-edu.s3.amazonaws.com/strawberry/1/documents/Villicana-Bedolla-2024-IPM-Integrated%20Pest%20Management-v2.pdf

 

MS Student Cooper Calvin receives Outstanding Graduate Student Award

MS Student Cooper Calvin receives Outstanding Graduate Student Award

May 14, 2024


Each spring, Cal Poly Graduate Education honors an outstanding graduate student from each of the Colleges at Cal Poly and the School of Education. This year, we are proud to announce that Center MS Student Cooper Calvin is being recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Student in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES)! Cooper was nominated by a colleague in his program and selected by CAFES based upon his academic achievements, scholarly and professional potential, and service to the university and community. Cooper will be graduating this year with his MS degree in Plant Pathology.

Congratulations Cooper!

Photo: Cooper (center) training undergraduate students Taylor Hibino (left) and Lilia Castellanos (right) on DNA extraction procedure.

Steve Fennimore presents at Cal Poly

Steve Fennimore presents at Cal Poly

May 9, 2024


Dr. Steve Fennimore (Weed Specialist, Univ. of California Cooperative Extension, Salinas) gave a lecture (17 April 2024) at Cal Poly on "Weed Management in Strawberry using Physical, Cultural, and Chemical Tools". Our students are fortunate to have a front row seat to some of the strawberry industry's most seasoned professionals. Steve has many years of experience and wisdom to share. He provided a comprehensive summary of weed management tools and strategies utilized by California strawberry growers.

Thank you Steve for making the trip to Cal Poly and imparting your extensive weed management knowledge and experience to our students!

View Steve's full presentation on our Center YouTube channel @ https://youtu.be/KwXGf5wwRrg

 

Shell Beach Elementary 6th grade class from visits Strawberry Center

Shell Beach Elementary 6th grade class from visits Strawberry Center

May 7, 2024


Led by teacher Danielle Blauer, other teachers and parent chaperones, over 50 sixth graders from Shell Beach Elementary School visited the Strawberry Center. Field Technician Lawson Orradre and Research Manager Kyle Blauer led the tour, which included a trip to our fields along with basic descriptions of strawberry growing, breeding and reproduction. The students were especially primed and excited about these topics as they are currently learning about inheritance and genetic variation in their science program. The tour culminated with a fun opportunity to pick fresh strawberries and fill as many clamshells as the students could carry back to the bus! According to Mrs. Blauer, “our students had a GREAT time on this trip and we are hoping to come back again next spring!”.

Dr. Holmes kicks off PLSC 450 seminar series

Dr. Holmes kicks off PLSC 450 seminar series

May 2, 2024


Strawberry Center Director Gerald Holmes kicked off his Spring 2024 "PLSC 450: Current Issues in the Strawberry Industry" seminar series course with an overview lecture about strawberry production practices. His presentation included comprehensive production process information as well as several real-world field videos that he has captured over the years.

In this course, students truly receive a front row seat for the strawberry industry by listening to seasoned professionals deliver diverse lectures. According to Gerald, “I’ve been teaching this course for 8 years. The recorded lectures now make a substantial library of topics and speakers that cover a broad range of subjects of great interest in California strawberry production. And our students have the chance to interact directly with industry experts.”

View Gerald's full presentation on our Center YouTube channel @ https://youtu.be/on_oMmUZq4k

Center hosts high school students for tour

Center hosts high school students for tour

Apr 30, 2024


We had the pleasure of hosting Center student alum Beth Noel's Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources class (Frontier High, Bakersfield, CA) for a Strawberry Center tour! The students were led by Field Technician Lawson Orradre and Research Associate Sam Simard. Students learned about the farming and research operations at the Strawberry Center, and even got to pick their own clamshell of strawberries. This tour concluded their Plant and Food Unit, giving students a firsthand understanding of plant growth, and the journey of food from farm to store.

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