Support Strawberry Center, Cal Poly

Support Strawberry Center, Cal Poly

Strawberry Center Newsletter - Spring 2021

Spring 2021, Issue 5


Save the Date: Field Day

The Cal Poly Strawberry Center's staff and students are busy preparing for our next Field Day, which will be held on July 29. The annual Strawberry Center Field Day will return to an in-person event on campus this year, adhering to all county and state health and safety guidelines in place at that time. 

We look forward to sharing the center's latest research and happenings. 

If you were unable to attend last year’s event, you can view the entire virtual event on YouTube by watching the presentations made by staff and students on Strawberry Center’s YouTube playlist here. Here is a snapshot of the 2020 event:

  • 14 Presentations, 13 speakers, 12 handouts, attendees from 13 countries, 40 sponsors.
  • Live Q&A to address questions from industry.
  • Virtual format expanded the center’s reach as attendees viewed from around the world.
  • Record-breaking number of attendees (280).
  • More than 5,000 views since uploaded to YouTube.

Cal Poly Strawberry Center Launches Strawberry Academy

The Cal Poly Strawberry Center launched its new student work program, the Strawberry Academy, at the end of January, welcoming three new students to its beginner level, and promoting 12 students to the intermediate level. This program was designed to provide students with the ability to gain valuable industry skills while attending school. The center’s staff worked with the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences’ current and former students and staff, along with industry leaders to develop the program to best suit our student population. The program gives students work experience that is structured so that as they achieve certain skills, they are rewarded with field and lab related tools and incremental pay increases, guiding them along the Learn by Doing path.

(Click image to view in a new tab)


Congratulations to all the Recent Strawberry Center Graduates

Michael Palmer graduated with a master’s degree in agriculture and a specialization in plant protection. He successfully defended his thesis “Strawberry Powdery Mildew Caused by Podosphera aphanis: Fungicide Resistance and Host Plant Resistance,” virtually over Zoom to an audience of more than 30 people. You can watch the full presentation here:

Palmer published three peer-reviewed papers from his thesis (third paper is in press).

  1. First Report of Aspergillus tubingensis Causing Strawberry Fruit Rot in California
  2. Fungicide Sensitivity in Strawberry Powdery Mildew caused by Podosphaera aphanis  in California

Before Palmer seeks a doctorate in plant pathology, he is riding his bike from Florida to Alaska, fulfilling a longtime dream. As of the publication of this newsletter, he made it to the Canadian border, but due to border restrictions will have to fly to Alaska to finish the journey.

Sam Farao and Lauren Tallichet both graduated with bachelor’s degrees in agricultural and environmental plant sciences. Gabe Worthington graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental earth and soil sciences. Tallichet accepted a job in Arizona at Bayer Crop Science as a research assistant.

Photo Courtesy of Advanced Farm

Just Published 

Tim Delbridge, assistant professor in the Agricultural Business Department, authored a research paper in California Agriculture on the economics of robotic harvesting in strawberries.This is a rapidly developing field with several private companies in the hunt. Delbridge lays out what it will take for robotic harvesting to be economically feasible. Read the article here


Transforming Tomorrow

The California State University’s Chancellor’s office recently issued a publication titled "Transforming Tomorrow," which highlights the most impactful research projects from all 23 CSU campuses. We are proud to share that the Strawberry Center's lygus bug vacuum optimization project was one of three Cal Poly projects featured.

Jack Wells (BioResource and Agricultural Engineering, '19) started the project as an automation intern at the Strawberry Center in 2017 and attributes the rapid success of the project to the collaborative effort of the California Strawberry Commission, Cal Poly BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department and California strawberry growers. “The project brought together a number of professors, researchers, industry members and students, who worked together to tackle the important issue of lygus bug control in California Strawberry fields,” Wells said. Wells now works for Orchard Machinery Corporation in Yuba City, California.


Related Content

Field Day 2022

At over 440 attendees, our largest Field Day event yet!

Learn more


Learn about working at the Center, and more!

For students

Strawberry Disease Info Form

Form available in Español

Form and Info here

Follow our Blog

Cal Poly Strawberry Center research blog

Stay up-to-date with our research activities and findings

Subscribe here!