Whether breeding better broccoli for production in the Northeast, understanding soil legacy effects on organic agriculture, or describing metabolic changes in tolerant tomato varieties after bacterial infection, graduate student presenters at the 2019 CornellAgritech Research Symposium described the many important contributions they are making to agriculture in New York State and beyond. Held on June 19 in Geneva NY and sponsored by SAGES, the Student Association of the Geneva Experiment Station, this was the 4th year of this annual event.
The Symposium’s keynote speaker, James Livengood, is the co-founder and director of production for Radicle Farm Company, which grows and ships greens in the greater New York City metropolitan area. In his address, entitled, “The future of food is precarious (and hopefully not local): lessons from a local farm”, Livengood described his evolution from a history major at Syracuse University to passionate advocate for local, controlled environment agriculture. After a series of entrepreneurial challenges and directional changes, Radicle Farm Co. has settled on a model focused on production of esoteric greens such as mazuna and nasturtium that can be combined with greens such as spinach and lettuce that are produced at large scale and imported from California.
Livengood effectively conveyed the challenges faced by entrepreneurs where enthusiasm and conviction can blind one to important realities, and he urged student attendees to ask themselves as they advance on their own career paths, “Is your work solving the problem you set out to solve?”
Students speakers (schedule with abstracts):
Samantha Willden – A biological survey of common strawberry pests found on low tunnel versus open-field grown strawberry in New York
Zachary Stansell – Understanding Broccoli: Complex horticultural quality traits are illuminated by evaluating the immortal BolTBDH mapping population
Dustin Wilkerson – Using the Salix F1 hybrid common parent mapping population to map resistance to Melampsora leaf rust
Ashley Jernigan – Invertebrates strengthen the linkage between soil microbial activity and crop productivity
Rey Cotto – Identifying the genetic association between the ABCC2 gene and the down regulation of the APN1 protein
Gregory Vogel – Genotyping-by-sequencing of Phytophthora capsica isolates from New York farms enables the discovery of loci associated with mating type and mefenoxam sensitivity
Christopher Peritore-Galve – Characterizing xylem colonization and infection of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in tolerant wild tomato species
Larissa Osterbaan – Grapevine fanleaf virus vein clearing symptoms in Nicotiana benthamiana are modulated by a single residue of a viral protein
Al Kovaleski – Progress in modeling grapevine bud cold hardiness
Laura Dougherty – Exploring DNA variant segregation types enables identification of columnar apple recessive repressors and a Co-gene network
Bill Weldon – Early season infection of hop powdery mildew (Podosphaera macularis) chasmothecia
Katrin Ayer – Preserving fungicide efficacy in the field: managing resistance of V. inaequalis to SDHI fungicides