Just in time for the winter meeting season, two new vegetable crops specialists have been hired by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). Cassandra Russell and Andrew Wylie will be stationed in Ridgetown, Ontario.
Cassandra Russell will be responsible for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and red beets.
Andrew Wylie will be responsible for sweet corn, cucurbits, beans, peas and asparagus.
In the past, Cassandra Russell worked in the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Highly Qualified Personnel program. In this role, she worked directly with greenhouse and field vegetable specialists on research projects to address pepper weevil. As an entomologist, she has led the Guelph Bug Day educational event to educate community members about insects. She is completing her M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph and holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the University of Guelph. She joins OMAFRA on February 10, 2020 and can be reached at 519-350-7134.
Andrew Wylie has more than 10 years experience in agricultural research focused on vegetable production. Originally from Wiarton, Ontario, he grew up growing vegetables and building his family’s specialty mushroom operation. With a passion for vegetable production, he co-founded Heritage Organic Research Co. Ltd. (Herio) in 2007, where he developed novel nutrition and IPM strategies that are being used in organic greenhouses across North America. During his Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, Wylie developed a system to assess microbial biocontrols for organic vegetable production systems. He holds a M.Sc. in Plant Science from the University of British Columbia and a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Guelph. Andrew Wylie joined OMAFRA on February 4, 2020 and can be reached at 519-401-5890.
Dennis Van Dyk will be returning as root vegetable specialist February 18, 2020. Tyler Blauel will return to his role as IPM coordinator, Muck Crops Research Station.
Source: ON Vegetable News February 5, 2020.