California Strawberry Commission Helps Secure $1M Grant for Soil-Borne Disease Research; Rick Tomlinson, Gerald Holmes, and Robert Rivas Comment
WATSON AND SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - Vital resources are strengthening the research and development of the California strawberry industry, as the California Strawberry Commission (CSC) has announced that a $1 million dollar grant has been awarded to the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) Strawberry Center to research methods to combat soil-borne diseases that harm strawberry plants.
“The more than 300 strawberry growers in California are in a daily fight to ensure healthy plants produce quality strawberries that are in high demand by consumers and generate over $1 billion dollars in farm wages,” said Rick Tomlinson, Strawberry Commission President. “This grant will further strengthen the Commission’s partnership with the Strawberry Center to provide farmers with much-needed tools to fight soil-borne diseases. On behalf of the entire California strawberry industry, I would like to thank Assemblyman Rivas for his work in securing this funding.”
The grant will be used to expand the Strawberry Center’s ongoing diagnostics services and research on diseases affecting strawberry plants, assisting growers in managing problem soil areas in strawberry production districts.
“This funding will help further the work of the Strawberry Center in developing solutions to ensure the sustainability of the California strawberry industry,” said Gerald Holmes, Strawberry Center Director. “It also enables Cal Poly to fulfill our mission of engaging students in hands-on learning, preparing them to enter the workforce ready to make a difference. Cal Poly is very appreciative of Assemblyman Rivas’ support of this important work.”
The California Strawberry Commission made the initial request to Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D-Salinas), who worked through the legislature to secure the new funding, a press release explained.
“I’d like to thank the California Strawberry Commission, the California Strawberry Center, and Cal Poly for their partnership and continued research on emerging diseases impacting California’s strawberry farmers. This research funding will help create sustainable solutions to new strawberry diseases here in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, and ensure California remains the leader in strawberry production amidst the ongoing climate crisis,” said Rivas.
The Strawberry Center is a partnership between the Commission and Cal Poly that began in 2013, when the initial team began conducting research on soil-borne pathogens and fumigation alternatives.
Click here to read about this partnership and the recently secured funding.
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