Andrea Garfinkel
Graduate student Andrea Garfinkel

WSU Puyallup REC would like to congratulate graduate student Andrea Garfinkel for being selected as a 2017 Alexander A. Smick Scholarship in Rural Community Service and Development winner.

Garfinkel was selected for not just her impressive application but also her commitment to rural community service and agricultural outreach in Alaska. Since 2013 she and her advisor, Dr. Gary Chastagner, have traveled to Alaska at least once per growing season to meet with farmers—many being first-time farmers who benefit immensely from Garfinkel and Chastagner’s knowledge and experience.

In Alaska, the duo visit peony farms in small communities and educate farmers how to identify, diagnose, and manage different plant disease issues. In addition, for the last 3 years they’ve also presented at the Alaska Peony Grower’s Association annual conference.

The $1,500 from the scholarship will help Garfinkel continue her outreach in Alaska. Currently she’s working on an extension bulletin on the Tobacco Rattle Virus, a plant disease Garfinkel and her advisor identified as of one of most important diseases in Alaskan peony farms during their tours last year.