Amanda Gevens receives 2017 Pound Extension Award

2017 CALS Pound Extension Award recipient Amanda Gevens, UW-Extension vegetable crops plant pathology specialist at UW-Madison with CALS Dean Kate VandenBosch.
Photo courtesy of UW-Madison CALS

Contact: Jed Colquhoun, (608) 262-9812, colquhoun@wisc.edu

Amanda Gevens, University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor and UW-Extension vegetable crops plant pathology specialist, received the 2017 Pound Extension Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

Gevens was recognized for her research and work related to disease management in potato and vegetable crops. The primary focus of her work is late blight of potato and tomato, which reappeared in crops in 2009 after a six-year hiatus, and just weeks after Gevens’ arrival at UW-Madison. Although new to her role at the time, Gevens provided leadership and responsiveness while working with growers, crop consultants, colleagues and regulatory officials to help them better understand the disease and successfully convey the concept that late blight is a community disease that is everyone’s responsibility to manage.

Recent research conducted by Gevens at the request of potato growers was to test potato storage treatments that were being marketed aggressively by their manufacturers with no data to support their efficacy. Her “first of its kind” research on storage treatments has the potential to save the potato industry millions of dollars a year, according to one nominator and potato grower.

Gevens programs are accessible to growers of all sizes and scopes. She and her county agent colleagues have worked with Amish farmers to encourage them to adopt a pro-active, biology-based approach to crop management. Gevens has also engaged Latino communities by providing Spanish translations of crop management newsletters.

“While Wisconsin’s potato and vegetable growers greatly appreciate Amanda’s work, her programming is recognized beyond the borders of the state,” said Patricia McManus, Chair, UW-Madison Department of Plant Pathology and UW-Extension fruit pathology specialist. “Extension pathologists in other states value Amanda’s applied research when making recommendations in their regions and Amanda is in demand nationally as a reviewer and editor.”

McManus said, “In the past 7 ½ years, Amanda has attracted more than $3.5 million in grants and gifts from the federal and state level to support her Extension programs and research.”

“Amanda is greatly respected and valued by her Extension colleagues and industry for her work in helping to develop practical solutions to issues,” said Jed Colquhoun, Interim Associate Dean of Extension and Outreach and UW-Extension Program Co-Director. “This award recognizes her dedication, energy and quality of service to the state.”

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