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City Farm SLO's 2023 Youth Empowerment Program students tour Center

City Farm SLO's 2023 Youth Empowerment Program students tour Center

Jun 29, 2023


Center team members Lawson Orradre, Colette Smith and Kiley Jensen hosted 12 high school-age students for a tour of our facilities. The students are participating in the City Farm SLO's 2023 Youth Empowerment Program, which provides exceptional leadership development opportunities to teens of all backgrounds through career/college readiness workshops and technical instruction in regenerative agriculture. https://www.cityfarmslo.org/yep

The students were able to explore the fields and hoop houses, visit the entomology lab, and pack their own strawberry clamshells! A huge thank you to City Farm SLO for allowing us to host this tour. We always love the opportunity to educate the younger generation about the strawberry industry.


Strawberry Center and USDA ARS Receive $1M in Federal Funding

Strawberry Center and USDA ARS Receive $1M in Federal Funding

Jun 27, 2023


Cal Poly Strawberry Center and U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Service Receive $1M in Federal Funding to Focus Efforts on Automation Advancements in the Field

[Cal Poly News, Press Release]

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Strawberry Center, in collaboration with the California Strawberry Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) in Salinas, California, was awarded $1 million in federal funding to expand its research in strawberry automation leading to enhanced sustainable farming practices, including workforce development.

Read full article @ https://tinyurl.com/CPSC-USDA-funding

Test your strawberry flower anatomy skills (Part 1 of 3)

Test your strawberry flower anatomy skills (Part 1 of 3)

Jun 22, 2023


A: PETAL. Most flowers of most varieties have 5 or 6 petals per flower. Together the petals form the COROLLA. The petals help to attract pollinators to the pollen.
B: STAMEN. This is the male part of the flower comprised of the ANTHER and FILAMENT (see C and D).
C: ANTHER. Pollen is produced and shed here and travels a short distance to the PISTIL.
D: FILAMENT. The stalk which bears the anther.
E: RECEPTACLE. This will become the “fruit” we eat. It’s covered with PISTILS which look like tiny fingers.
F: PISTIL. This is the female part of the flower comprised of the STIGMA, STYLE and OVARY. It receives the pollen which germinates at the tip/STIGMA and sends a germ tube down the STYLE to fertilize the OVARY at the base of the pistil. The ovary becomes one of the seeds/achenes which pock the surface of the “fruit.”

TEST YOUR STRAWBERRY FLOWER ANATOMY SKILLS, Part 1
Strawberry flowers are "perfect" and "self-fertile" and just a little breeze or vibration is all that is needed to move the pollen from the anthers to the stigma; no bees are necessary in outdoor environments. In contrast, in indoor environments (e.g., greenhouses), bees are used to pollinate flowers.

Watch our short video narrated by Center students Gabrielle Brocker and Sarah Herring to learn more about strawberry plant anatomy!
https://lnkd.in/gNAKPNcx
 

Only six weeks away! Register for FIELD DAY, being held on Aug. 3

Only six weeks away! Register for FIELD DAY, being held on Aug. 3

Jun 20, 2023


Only six weeks away! Join more than 400 strawberry growers, researchers and industry representatives for this year’s Strawberry Center Field Day. Participants will rotate through stations, hearing from Cal Poly students and staff about the latest research taking place at the Strawberry Center. Topics include the newest automation technology, predatory mites, soil-borne pathogens of strawberry and much more! We look forward to sharing the Center's latest research and happenings. Learn more about the seventh annual field day.

https://tinyurl.com/FD-2023

Sponsorship Opportunities are Still Available

We are excited to partner with your company to create our most successful Field Day yet. Information about sponsorship opportunities is available online @ https://strawberry.calpoly.edu/field-day-2023-sponsorship-opportunities

Shashika Hewavitharana receives CAFES New Teaching Award

Shashika Hewavitharana receives CAFES New Teaching Award

Jun 16, 2023


Please join us in congratulating our very own Shashika Hewavitharana (Strawberry Center, Pathology program leader) as recipient of the New Teaching Award in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences (CAFES)! CAFES Dean Andy Thulin added "Shashika demonstrates great passion and is constantly investing in the next generation. Her courses are engaging and she epitomizes the Teacher Scholar Model by including students in her research, which has landed them amazing internships and careers." We couldn't agree more.

CONGRATULATIONS Shashika!

Shashika Hewavitharana CAFES  New Teaching Award

Main Street Produce visits Strawberry Center

Main Street Produce visits Strawberry Center

Jun 14, 2023


It was a pleasure to host Main Street Produce for a tour of the Strawberry Center and our field research plots. Pictured left to right: Ben Adam, Dan Piester, Gerald Holmes, Ann Veneman (former Sec. Agriculture under Pres. Bush), Paul Allen, and Thadeus Tracy.

We are thankful for all visitors who come here to learn more about the Strawberry Center.

Mary Steele defends MS thesis

Mary Steele defends MS thesis

Jun 12, 2023


Congratulations to Center pathology Master's student Mary Steele! After much hard work, she will be defending her thesis this Thursday at 10am. Join her in person or on Zoom to hear all about her research project.

MARY STEELE

M.S. In Agriculture with a Specialization in Crop Science
Advisor: Dr. Shashika Hewavitharana
Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 10 a.m.
Technology Park, Building 83
Lower Level Conference Room, Cal Poly campus
Zoom Meeting ID: 822 4311 6487
THESIS TITLE: "Soilborne Pathogens of Strawberry in California's Central Coast: Disease Survey and Wheat Cover Cropping for Disease Management"
Full presentation video available @ https://youtu.be/KMMjQTtWJpU

Mary Steele, thesis defense

Continue reading Mary Steele defends MS thesis...
UCCE Advisor Michael Cahn gives lecture at Cal Poly

UCCE Advisor Michael Cahn gives lecture at Cal Poly

Jun 9, 2023


Michael Cahn (Irrigation and Water Resources Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County) gave a lecture (17 May 2023) at Cal Poly on "Irrigation and Nitrogen Management in Strawberry". Our students really have had a front row seat for the strawberry industry by listening to seasoned professionals such as Michael, who has many years of experience and wisdom to depart and share. Michael spoke about nitrogen management and environmental impacts, as well as irrigation system maintenance, operation and scheduling.

Thank you Michael for making the trip to Cal Poly and imparting your extensive irrigation and nitrogen management knowledge and experience to our students!

View Michael's full presentation on our Center YouTube channel @ https://youtu.be/5617sOAMWm4

Graduate students Jensen and Alvarado Rojas defend M.S. theses

Graduate students Jensen and Alvarado Rojas defend M.S. theses

Jun 7, 2023


Congratulations to Center entomology Masters' students Jose Alvarado Rojas and Kiley Jensen! After much hard work, they will be soon defending their theses. Join them on campus or Zoom to learn more about their research projects.

JOSE ALVARADO ROJAS
M.S. In Agriculture with a Specialization in Plant Protection Science
Advisor: Dr. David Headrick
WEDNESDAY, June 14, 2023 1 p.m.
Zoom Meeting ID: 822 0723 0735
THESIS TITLE: "Evaluating the Field Efficacy of UV-C on Two California Strawberry Arthropod Pests"
Presentation video available @ https://youtu.be/NL1tzvd-ICk

KILEY JENSEN
M.S. In Agriculture with a Specialization in Plant Protection Science
Advisor: Dr. Gerald Holmes
FRIDAY, June 9, 2023 11:30 a.m.
CAFES Dean's Conference Room, 11-210, Cal Poly campus
Zoom Meeting ID: 883 6974 5189
THESIS TITLE "Arthropod Resistance Status of Tetranychus urticae and Lygus hesperus in California Strawberries"
Presentation video available @ https://youtu.be/wH35Xm89S0s


Kiley Jensen defense seminar

Strawberry Center well represented at CAFES Research Spring Symposium

Strawberry Center well represented at CAFES Research Spring Symposium

Jun 6, 2023


The Strawberry Center was well represented at the CAFES Research Symposium this spring! We had five exceptional participants. Lydia Tavoletti wowed as an undergraduate finalist, while graduate students Samantha Simard, Cooper Calvin, Kiley Jensen, and Mary Steele delivered outstanding presentations. A huge congratulations to Mary for securing first place in the graduate student category! 

We extend our gratitude to the students who represented the Strawberry Center with utmost excellence, your dedication and achievements make us immensely proud. It's truly rewarding to witness our program and research being recognized at the symposium.

Photos:
Upper left: Kiley Jensen, MS Student
Upper right: Mary Steele, MS Student
Center: Samantha Simard, MS Student
Bottom: (left to right) Gerald Holmes, Shashika Hewavitharana, Mary Steele, Lydia Tavoletti, Cooper Calvin

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