Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s partner, the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, has appointed German Vargas as its first grape IPM coordinator.
As a part of the third largest wine-producing state in the nation, New York grape growers work nearly 35,000 acres, producing 128,000 tons of juice grapes, 57,000 tons of wine grapes, and 2,000 tons of table grapes each year. In the new role, Vargas will grow and sustain the state’s booming grape industry by working collaboratively, across disciplines, and with a variety of stakeholders to develop, demonstrate and guide IPM implementation efforts.
A native of Colombia, Vargas is an award-winning entomologist with more than 40 publications including peer-reviewed and extension. He has a Ph.D. from Kansas State University and most recently served as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Florida’s Tropical Research and Education Center, where he worked to develop a comprehensive, integrated pest management plan for the hibiscus bud weevil.
Vargas’ position will be based out of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory in Portland beginning June 20.
“We are exceedingly excited to welcome Germ’n and his family to Chautauqua County and look forward to his participation and collaboration with our regional team,” said Emily Reynolds, Cornell Cooperative Extension Chautauqua executive director.