Posted: May 6, 2016

New graduate housing will bolster fruit research.

Penn State graduate students and visiting scientists from other institutions play a critical role in many studies conducted at Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, Adams County. And now, thanks to financial support from the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, new graduate student housing at the center will help ensure those contributions persist into the future.

The association and its member companies provided more than $250,000 to fund construction of a new building to house grad students and visiting researchers at the center. The building, which replaces two small and outdated house trailers on the site, was dedicated with a Jan. 28 ribbon-cutting and open house for dignitaries, industry representatives, and others.

By accommodating more graduate students, the new building will enhance the research capacity of the center, benefiting the fruit industry and the local and state economies, according to James Schupp, professor of pomology and director of the Fruit Research and Extension Center.

"We thank the State Horticultural Association for this investment in the future," Schupp said. "This support of graduate education at Penn State will help train tomorrow's leaders and pay dividends in helping fruit growers for generations to come."

Penn State's Fruit Research and Extension Center is an important resource for Pennsylvania's $84 million fruit industry. The center creates science-based knowledge and innovative solutions that help keep the industry strong and viable. Methods and recommendations generated from research are shared with growers through Penn State Extension's educational programs. Over the past 35 years, the center has housed 32 graduate students, seven postdoctoral scholars, and two visiting scientists.

--Chuck Gill