May 16, 2019
Virologist opening spurs letter from National Clean Plant Network group

Representatives for the National Clean Plant Network Tier II Blueberries Executive Board have sought quick action for the replacement of retiring Robert Martin, USDA ARS Grape Virologist.

Board Chairman Nate Nourse of South Deerfield, Massachusetts, said in a news release:  

“I organized the attached letter to expedite the replacement of Dr. Robert Martin USDA ARS Grape and Berry Virologist. Under normal circumstances, this process could take 6-18 months. A recent action by the Potato Council, was able to successfully replace a key scientist in three months. Bob’s retirement in January 2020, will cause a disruption in important berry and grape testing and research.

The timing of the effort is very important. USDA has indicated that they could begin a search as soon as Dr. Martin gives his notice, which is expected to be at the end of the month or early June. USDA officials take stakeholder requests very seriously and combined efforts have been the most successful.”

The board’s letter to USDA follows:

Request for a Virologist

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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