SCRI Project

We have leveraged the networks and expertise developed through the NSSI program to submit an SCRI planning grant proposal, “Planning to Increase the Productivity and Competitiveness of Sustainable Strawberry Systems.”

The goal of the planning grant is to utilize our network of strawberry scientists, extension workers, growers, and industry representatives to develop a strategic plan to address the critical needs for research, outreach, and education to expand strawberry production with sustainable technologies and practices. The outcome of the planning process will be a national SCRI CAP project proposal, which would allow for continued work on priorities set by the stakeholder panel.

The project team is being led by Dr. Curt Rom, University Professor of Horticulture and the University of Arkansas and Program Director of the NSSI.

Member of the project team, including growers and industry collaborators, are listed below:

University of Arizona: Chieri Kubota, Professor (Horticulture, hydroponics)

University of Arkansas: Curt R. Rom, University Professor (Horticulture), National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative Director; Elena Garcia, Professor (Horticulture) and Mike Evans, Professor (Hydroponics)

      Grower: David Dickey, owner Dickey Farm

University of California: Ruijun Qin, Scientist (Soils, fumigation)

University of Florida: Carlene Chase, Associate Professor (Horticulture, weed science); Marilyn Swisher, Associate Professor (Sustainable Agriculture); Oscar Liburd, Professor (Entomology); Zhifeng Gao, Associate Professor (Economics); Xin Zhao, Associate Professor (Horticulture)

      Growers: Bradley Ferguson, production manager Florida Pacific Farms; Kenneth Parker, executive director Florida Strawberry Growers Association

University of Maryland: John Lea-Cox, Professor and Extension Specialist (Horticulture); Erik Lichtenberg, Professor (Economics); Andrew Ristvey, Extension Specialist (Horticulture)

      Grower Consultant and growers: Bob Rouse, (Agriculturalist LLC); Ben Butler, manager Butler’s Orchard; Dave Liker, owner Gorman Farm

University of Minnesota: Emily Hoover, Professor and Head, (Horticulture); Steve Poppe, Senior Horticulture Scientist; Mary Rogers, Assistant Professor (Horticulture)

Growers: Mary Jo Forbord, owner Prairie Horizons Farm; Bill Jacobson, owner Pine Tree Apple Orchard; Jerry Untiedt, owner Untiedt Vegetable Farm; Ronald Branch, owner Berry Ridge Farm; David Macgregor, owner Fairhaven Farm

Mississippi State University: William Evans, Assistant Professor (Horticulture)

North Carolina A&T: Sanjun Gu, Extension Specialist (Horticulture)

North Carolina State University: Frank Louws, Professor (Pathology, Extension); Michelle Schroeder-Moreno, Associate Professor (Soils); Gina Fernandez, Professor and Small Fruit Specialist

Grower consultant: Barclay Poling

Rutgers University: Peter Nitzsche, Professor (Extension, Horticulture); Bill Hlubik, Professor (Extension, Horticulture)

      Growers and Industry: Jessica Niederer, owner Chickadee Creek Farm; Greg Donaldson, President New Jersey Small Fruits Council

Tennessee State University: Suping Zhou, Associate Professor (Food Safety)

Texas A&M University: Russell Wallace, Associate Professor (Extension, Horticulture); Joe Masabni, Assistant Professor (Extension, Small-Acreage Production); Genhua Niu, Associate Professor (Environmental Stress)

Growers and industry: Craig Turley, owner Turley’s Fruity Veggie Farm; Cora Lamar, Owner Oak Hill Farms; Lynn Weir, Director South Plains Food Bank

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University: Jayesh Samtani, Small Fruit Production Specialist; Allen Straw, Small Fruit Specialist

Grower: Tom Baker, owner Brookdale Farm, treasurer Virginia Strawberry Association

USDA-ARS: Kim Lewers, Research Geneticist, Fumiomi Takeda, Research Horticulturalist (Horticulture, Greenhouse, and Non-chemical disease management); Wojciech Janisiewicz, Research Plant Pathologist (non-chemical disease control)

You can email us at if you would like more information about this SCRI project.