September was (unofficially) Plant Pathology Outreach Month!

We had a busy month with multiple outreach opportunities for our graduate students! Besides having an outreach table at the Minnesota State Fair, graduate students Rae Page, Sofia Simeto, and Andrew Mann volunteered with the Market Science program to provide guests at the Midtown Farmers Market with a lesson on plant pathology. Market Science is a program held in the UMN College of Biological Sciences that allows scientists within the university to perform hands-on learning activities for farmer’s market-goers throughout the twin cities. For our lesson, attendees took a short personality quiz and were matched with common diseases such as wheat stem rust, armillaria, and gray mold. For more information about the Market Science Program or to volunteer, please visit


The success of our disease personality quiz lesson at various events over the past few months has not gone unnoticed by the college and we were asked to present the materials at the 2021 CFANS Sampler and Homecoming Parade Party on September 24th organized by the CFANS Alumni Society, Undergraduate Student Board, Graduate Student Board, and Post-Doc Board. The event contained interactive displays on research throughout our college and provided current students, alumni, and faculty/staff an opportunity to enjoy an evening together watching the homecoming parade and celebrate CFANS.

Lastly, a Plant Pathology Diagnostics virtual workshop was hosted for the Minnesota Master Gardener program. Enrolled participants logged onto zoom for three nights to review the biology of common garden pests, tools on how to identify them, and management strategies. Topics included fungi, viruses, bacteria, nematodes, parasitic plants, and abiotic disorders. Thank you to the following graduate students who provided their growing expertise in these topics and led a portion of one of these workshops: Andrew Mann, Nick Rajtar, Rae Page, Nick Greatens, Dong-gyu Kim, and Jose Solorzano. 

It was definitely a busy month for our outreach coordinator, Becca Hall! Thank you to all of our graduate students who helped her with all of our events! We look forward to having more opportunities to share the world of plant pathology with others in the near future.