Speakers

Chris Alonzo.jpg
Chris Alonzo
President/Owner
Pietro Mushrooms
Websites:
Pietro Industries
Profile Image
Stephen Anania
Director of Operations
Oakshire Mushroom Farm, Inc.
Beyer.jpg
David Beyer, PhD
Professor, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Penn State University
David works with the mushroom community here in North America and Europe. His grower education extension program develops and conducts workshops and farm visits to provide assistance on many different aspects of mushroom cultivation. The focus of his research is looking at cultural factors influencing disease development to help minimize the impact of mushroom diseases and screening existing and potential new fungicides to maintain and improve the efficiency of the few pesticides the industry have left in their arsenal.
Websites:
David Beyer
Bull.jpg
Carolee Bull, PhD
Head/Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Penn State University

Originally a Pennsylvania native, Dr. Bull graduated with a degree in Botany at Ohio University in 1985. Work with a mycologist and courses in mycology and microbiology transformed her interest in botany to a passion for plant pathology. She received an MS in Plant Pathology from Washington State University in 1987, and a PhD in Plant Pathology from Oregon State University in 1992. Her work on biological control of plant pathogens and phytobacteriology continued as a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in Switzerland. For the past 20 years she worked for the USDA?ARS in California to develop alternatives to chemical pesticides for vegetable and small fruit production. Dr. Bull served on the Administrative Council for the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and was key to the development of organic research programs at the USDA/ARS. For outstanding mentorship women and Latino student research interns, she received the Secretary's Honor Award (the highest award service to the nation in agriculture) from the USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack. 

Websites:
Carolee Bull
Barb Christ.jpg
Barbara Christ, PhD
Senior Associate Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences
Penn State University
From November 2012 to October 2014, Christ was interim dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, responsible for leading the college’s nine academic departments and an extension program that reaches into every Pennsylvania county to deliver University programs. With 1,077 employees, 3,000 undergraduate students and 460 graduate students, the College of Agricultural Sciences also invests nearly $97 million in research and graduate study yearly.

Christ was named senior associate dean in 2009 after serving four years as head of the Department of Plant Pathology. She has been a member of the college faculty for 28 years and has broad experience as a researcher with a focus on potato breeding and disease management. She joined the plant pathology faculty as an assistant professor in 1984, became associate professor in 1990 and attained the rank of full professor in 2000. She previously worked as a research assistant in the plant pathology department of the University of Minnesota and has served as president of the American Phytopathological Society.
Websites:
Barbara Christ
Profile Image
Tradd Cotter
Websites:
Mushroom Mountain
John de Soto.jpg
John de Soto
M.S. Student
Penn State University
Websites:
John de Soto
Gale Ferranto.jpg
Gale Ferranto
President
Buona Foods, Inc.
Fidanza.jpg
Michael Fidanza, PhD
Associate Professor, Horticulture
Penn State University
Websites:
Michael Fidanza
Siyi Ge.jpg
Siyi Ge
Graduate Student
Penn State University
Maria.jpg
Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch
Latino Community Outreach Coordinator
Penn State Extension, PA IPM Program
Maria is the Latino Community Outreach Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management (PA IPM) and the Agricultural Safety & Health Programs at Penn State University. Maria is currently expanding both programs' efforts to reach out to the Latino Community by developing and adapting new, culturally appropriate education and outreach materials, assessing the needs of the Latino Community for pest management information, IPM solutions, pesticide and personal safety education in both urban and agricultural settings. In addition, she is also working in conjunction with other Penn State departments and presenting workshops, training sessions and seminars on various topics in English and Spanish. Maria is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a B.S in Agricultural Engineering ad an M.S. in Animal Production from the Pontifical Argentine Catholic University.
Jenkins.jpg
Nina Jenkins, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Penn State University
Websites:
Nina Jenkins
Kerber Palma.jpg
Alicia Kerber-Palma
Head Consul
Mexican Consulate of Philadelphia
Profile Image
Meghan Klotzbach
Mother Earth Organic Mushrooms
LaBorde.jpeg.png
Luke LaBorde, PhD
Associate Professor of Food Science and Extension Specialist
Department of Food Science, Penn State University
Dr. LaBorde's extension interests include quality and safety of shelf stable and minimally processed fruits and vegetables. His research interests include food safety issues related to juice and cider processing and the mushroom growing and processing industry. He has also studied nutrient composition and other quality changes in fruits and vegetables as affected by minimal processing technologies and disinfection treatments. His extension responsibilities include presentation of workshops on developing and implementing HACCP plans for juice processors. He further serves to advise food processor and potential food entrepreneurs on current food safety, technology, business and regulatory issues.
Websites:
Luke LaBorde
Profile Image
Maria Mazin
Profile Image
Rebecca Miller
Giorgi Mushroom Company
Paul Patterson.jpg
Paul Patterson, PhD
Professor of Poultry Science
Penn State University
The central theme of Dr. Patterson's extension and research programs is environmental poultry management. Efforts focus on discovering and promoting efficient poultry production systems that place minimum burden on the environment. While managing manure and by-products of poultry production are obvious endeavors, less tangible efforts include the impact of odor, flies, traffic, etc., on the environment at the urban-rural interface. The later impacts are important to the sustainability of poultry production and processing enterprises in Pennsylvania. Other efforts are geared to enhancing producer profitability and improving egg production, quality, and food safety.

Research efforts have focused on environmental poultry management with an emphasis on applied studies that go hand in hand with the extension programs. As a nutritionist I have sought to recycle the nutrients of poultry by-products to both crop and livestock systems to abate non-point sources of pollution. These efforts benefit small poultry farmers, corporate agriculture, and ultimately the public at large.
Websites:
Paul Patterson
Pecchia.jpg
John Pecchia, PhD
Assistant Professor & Research Associate, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Penn State University
Websites:
John Pecchia
Geoff Price.jpg
Geoff Price
Technical Director
Giorgi Mushroom Company
Greg Roth.jpg
Greg Roth, PhD
Professor of Agronomy
Penn State University
Dr. Greg Roth is a Professor in the Department of Plant Science and has an 75% extension/ 25% research appointment focusing on grain crop management. He has been a member of the faculty at Penn State since 1989. He has a B.S. and Ph.D. in Agronomy from Penn State University and a M.S. from Virginia Tech. In his position as the extension grain crops specialist, he develops educational programs for extension agents, agribusiness groups and producers on timely issues such as potential of corn hybrids for silage production, small grains for forage production and management tactics for corn for silage. His research has complemented his extension program, and is often targeting issues at the plant/animal interface in the diversified agriculture in Pennsylvania. He helps to direct the Penn State variety evaluation trials for corn, corn silage, wheat, soybeans and barley. He has also led the development and commercialization of an interseeding machine to expand the potential of cover cropping for corn and soybeans.
Websites:
Greg Roth
Rush.jpg
Richard Rush
Director of Safety
South Mill Mushroom Sales
Richard Rush has been employed since April, 2011, as the Safety Director for Kaolin / South Mill Mushrooms, located in Kennett Square, PA. Besides working closely with Kaolin / South Mill Management to ensure a safe workplace environment for all employees, he is also actively involved with the MESH Safety Committee in promoting safety within the mushroom industry.
 
Websites:
South Mill
Profile Image
Yijia Sun
Undergraduate, Industrial Engineering
Penn State University
Yang.jpg
Yinong Yang, PhD
Professor, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology
Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University

Dr. Yang received a BS in biology from Hangzhou University, an MS in botany from University of South Florida, and a PhD in plant molecular and cellular biology from University of Florida. After a postdoctoral position in Waksman Institute at Rutgers University, he became an assistant and associate professor at the University of Arkansas. He joined the faculty at Penn State in 2006 and has been working on the molecular mechanisms of plant-microbe interactions and genome engineering of agricultural crops such as rice and mushroom.

Top