Dec 6, 2018
Scholarships presented at Great Lakes EXPO Banquet

Several scholarships, supported by 13 sponsoring organizations, were presented at the Great Lakes EXPO banquet on Dec. 5, 2018. The recipients included the following:

Emilie Cole (Michigan State University)
Cole is pursuing a master’s degree in entomology with a focus on nematology. She has worked in several labs dealing with cherry and raspberry production. Her current studies focus on potato early die complex. Cole will graduate this coming summer.

Logan Appenfeller (Michigan State University)
Appenfeller is pursuing a master’s degree in entomology with a focus on Agricultural Entomology/Ecology. He spent this past summer working at the Kellogg Biological Station, collecting lots of data on the squash bee. After completing his degree, Appenfeller plans to stay in the Midwest and find a job in the vegetable or fruit industry.

Sara Getson (Michigan State University)
Getson is pursuing a master’s degree in plant pathology with a focus on fungal diseases. She worked in plant pathology and mushroom technology labs during all five years of her undergrad career. Getson is currently spending time working on asparagus at MSU. After graduation, she hopes to take her knowledge not only to growers but into the community. She will graduate this coming summer.

Gayathri Guanthilaka (Michigan State University)
Guanthilaka currently has a 4.0 while working on a doctoral degree in food science specializing in vegetable processing safety. She has already spent time working in the industry at the likes of National Beverages and Pellerito Foods. Upon completion of a Ph.D., Guanthilaka wants to become an Extension worker with research responsibilities at a government agency or a university.

Kjersten Oudman (Michigan State University)
Oudman is currently working on a master’s degree in plant pathology, specializing in fungal diseases. She has spent time volunteering at DeVries Nature Conservancy Farm in Owosso Michigan. After school, Oudman hopes to do freelance journalism on all areas of agricultural science and help bring awareness to the wider public about farmers and the science that is pursuing the best food system we can create.

Patrick Stillson (Michigan State University)
Stillson is currently working on a master’s degree in entomology, specializing in insect-vectored plant disease. He spent the summer with carrot and celery growers. Stillson collected and tested leafhoppers to learn more about asters yellow. After a master’s and doctorate, he would like to stay in Michigan and be a professor at a land grant university.

Sara Trattles (Kansas State University)
Trattles is looking to complete her master’s degree in agribusiness management in the spring of 2019. She currently works for GreenStone Farm Credit Service and hopes that this education will help her continue to serve her specialty crop clients better. In addition to working at GreensStone, she also farms with her husband in St. Joseph County.

Tye Wittenbach (Michigan State University)
Wittenbach plans to graduate with a master’s degree in horticulture in the spring of 2020. In addition to working on his family’s farm, he has spent time the last few years working as a research assistant and an orchard scout. Wittenbach hopes his research will lead to ways to prevent bitter pit in apples. He is looking toward a career as an Extension agent and on the family farm.

Jordan Tatter Scholarships

In December 2003, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council announced their intention to initiate a scholarship fund in Jordan Tatter’s memory. Including this year, a total of $63,000 in scholarships has been awarded. This year’s recipients are:

Undergraduate: Tye Thompson (Michigan State University)
Thompson is majoring in horticultural science. He has participated in many agricultural groups, including the Michigan State Horticultural Association and FFA. Most notably, he has pursued his love of farming by starting his own small farm. He grows vegetables on a few acres and sells his produce at nearby stands. He has slowly expanded this business and has seen it grow successfully. In the future, Thompson hopes to run his own farm market.

Graduate: Suzanne Slack (Michigan State University)
Slack is pursuing a Ph.D. with a thesis focused on fire blight control in apples. Her research has focused on timing applications more effectively in order to save growers money and reduce potential resistance issues. She hopes to have a career as an Extension educator to be able to work closely with growers to help them be as effective and efficient as possible.

Gary Pullano, managing editor


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