The Klamath Basin Potato Endowed Faculty Scholar

In 2013 the Oregon Potato Commission and its members teamed up with growers and businesses in the Klamath Basin to create an endowment supporting a potato researcher in this region. The $250,000 commitment assures that this position always will be at the OSU Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center in Klamath Falls.

The potato commission previously established a similar endowed position supporting a potato expert with a statewide focus. The Klamath Basin Potato Faculty Scholar, in contrast, works exclusively in the Klamath Basin area, which extends across the California border.

"This is a unique area, in terms of its short growing season, the types of potatoes grown here, and the types of pests and diseases," said Bill Brewer, president and CEO of the Oregon Potato Commission. "Having an expert who knows the conditions, knows the growers, and is readily accessible is a great benefit."

The Oregon Potato Commission is one of 25 agricultural commodity commissions in Oregon. It was formed in 1949 to represent the potato industry in educational, trade development, research, legislative affairs, and public relations activities.

 

Brian Charlton

Brian Charlton, an Oregon State agronomist since 1994, is the first Klamath Basin Potato Endowed Faculty Scholar. Working at the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center at Klamath Falls, he provides leadership to the development of new varieties of potatoes, a process that can take 10 to 14 years. He annually inspects 150,000 young potatoes in the center's nursery and charts 60,000 varieties for quality, yield, disease resistance, and other traits.

Charlton graduated from OSU with a bachelor's degree in crop and soil sciences, then earned his master's degree in agronomy from Iowa State University before returning to Oregon State as a researcher.

 

 

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