PVGA Life Member – Ernest Bergman
Dr. Ernest Bergman, Professor of Plant Nutrition at The Pennsylvania State University, has been awarded a Life Membership In the Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers Association. President John Mason made the presentation during the annual Fruit and Vegetable Growers Banquet, January 27, 1987, in Hershey. The Directors of the Association voted to honor Dr. Bergman for his “longstanding record of dedication and service to the Association, it’s members, and the vegetable Industry of the Commonwealth.”Dr. Bergman, who retired from Penn State, came to the University in 1958. Born in Munich, Germany, he studied and taught at horticultural schools in Switzerland while working at several farms and orchards. In 1946 he immigrated to America, where he was employed at a New York orchard, an Oregon hop farm and an Oregon vegetable and strawberry plant farm. Dr. Bergamn then entered Oregon State College where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture and Pomology in 1955. He then moved on to Michigan State University to obtain his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Plant Nutrition by 1958. At Penn State, Dr. Bergman taught the undergraduate course Hort 402 Plant Nutrition for 21 years. He was an advisor for 11 Ph.D.,11 M.S. and 5 M. Agr. graduate students, while serving on over 100 graduate student committees, and advising hundreds of undergraduate students. He served on dozens of committees within the University and represented the College of Agriculture for 13 years in the Faculty Senate of which he was chairman for two years. He also served as co-advisor to the Penn State Hort Club.Dr. Bergman was well-known among Pennsylvania vegetable growers for research in the nutrition of vegetable crops. His plant nutrition interests led him to other areas, including the importance of including calcium and magnesium analyses in regular soil tests, influences of plant viruses on nutrition of vegetable crops, use of poultry manure, use of plant tissue analyses, and cultural practices in vegetable production, both in the field and in hydroponics. Lancaster County celery growers know him as the developer of Penncrisp celery, a variety especially suited to Pennsylvania. Dr. Bergman through the years continued to produce the seed for Penncrisp celery at the University for at least 70 some acres of the crop. His expertise in plant nutrition has carried him to numerous international horticultural meetings. In addition Dr. Bergman has been on assignment from Penn State in Argentina, Urugary, and China, working with scientists and growers in these nations to solve some of their nutritional problems. This experience overseas has qualified him to be elected International Affairs Division Vice-President of the American Society for Horticultural Science, of which he has also been named a Fellow. Dr. Bergman was a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science, a member of numerous other professional and honorary societies, and the recipient of several professional awards and recognitions. He has authored or co-authored many professional and extension publications over the years. Besides his academic and professional involvement, he has served his local community on various boards, commissions and authorities. For five years he was chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Ferguson Township. Dr. Ernest Bergman was truly an asset to his community, the University, his profession, and the vegetable Industry of Pennsylvania.