PVGA Life Member – Lee Stivers

PVGA Life Member – Lee Stivers

photo – Penn State Extension

Lee Stivers, who recently retired as a Penn State Extension educator, was awarded a Life Membership in the Association by the Board of Directors in recognition of her long standing record of service and dedication to the vegetable growers of Pennsylvania.

Lee started her career and interest in vegetable production as a produce buyer in Boston and California and as an organic farm inspector, also in California. She then pursued graduate education, receiving her Masters degree in Vegetable Production from the University of California at Davis. She continued her work in the vegetable field and her appreciation for the California climate as a post-graduate researcher, studying the ecology of lettuce systems in the Salinas Valley.

In 1992, Lee took a position as Area Extension Vegetable Specialist and Team Leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension in the Lake Plains Vegetable Program. In 1999, Lee became an Extension Associate for Cornell University and also the Manager of the New York Crop Research Facility while also serving as the executive officer of the New York Vegetable Research Council and Association. 

In 2001, Lee joined the Extension team at Penn State, serving as both a horticulture Educator and County Extension Director in Washington County. Here she worked closely with vegetable growers in southwestern Pennsylvania conducting field trials and organizing local grower meetings. She also worked with developing and presenting the educational program for the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention. Because of her experience with onion production in New York, she took an interest in the Pennsylvania Simply Sweet Onion branding program and served as secretary for the Committee. For the past several years she was involved in a nationally recognized project to help beginning farmers in Pennsylvania.

During her career, Lee was a lead or a co-author on 26 journal articles. Additionally, she has served as a reviewer for both The Journal of Extension as well as for American Society of Horticultural Sciences publications. Later in her career Lee has taken up playing mandolin and then the acoustic base, and is heavily involved in the bluegrass music scene in western Pennsylvania.

PVGA President Jonathan Strite announced the Life Membership at the banquet at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention although Ms. Stivers was not able to be present.