Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association


Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association

An Association of Commercial Vegetable, Potato and Berry Growers

PVGA Annual Award Recipient 2013 – Kathleen Demchak

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Kathleen Demchak receives the award from PVGA President Brian Campbell

Kathleen Demchak is a native of Clearfield County and majored in Horticulture at Penn State. She then went on to pursue a Master of Science degree at Virginia Tech where she worked with Dr. Ronald Morse on strip mine soil reclamation for vegetable crops. Kathy then returned to Penn State in 1983 to work as a Research Aide in plant nutrition with Dr. Cyril Smith. She spent several summers traveling all over Pennsylvania planting and harvesting Dr. Smith’s extensive vegetable nutrition trials.

In 1991, Demchak became a Research Associate working in the area of small fruits with Dr. Barbara Goulart. When Dr. Goulart left Penn State in 1998, she was hired as an Extension Associate and for the past 14 years she has led the Penn State small fruit extension program. She performs applied research on a broad range of topics involving strawberries, brambles, and blueberries to support her extension activities.  Kathy is a regular contributor to Penn State’s Vegetable and Small Fruit Gazette and she coordinates the educational small fruit program for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. She has developed a national reputation by coordinating the writing and the revision of the Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide and she is a recognized authority on berry crop production in high tunnels. Currently she is a member of the spotted wing drosophila IPM working group, and she is a principle investigator on a Northeast IPM Center project to monitor spotted wing drosophila.

Kathy, her husband and family, live in Port Matilda.  She and her two sons were veteran volunteers at the PVGA Ag Progress Days booth each year.

Most importantly, Demchak has rightfully gained the respect and confidence of the berry growers of Pennsylvania.