Badger Common’Tater November 2019 Issue
Ready to Direct Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program
Dr. Renee Rioux considers program a shining example of the Wisconsin Idea in action
By Joe Kertzman, managing editor, Badger Common’Tater
On July 22, Dr. Renee Rioux officially assumed the role of assistant professor, University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison Plant Pathology Department. Her first day on the job, though, was during the Hancock Agricultural Research Station Field Day, July 18.
She also transitioned into her new position as the administrative director for the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program (WSPCP) in early August. It’s been a great transition so far.
“One aspect of the program that stood out during my interview, and is even more evident now that I am here, is the high caliber of people associated with the Wisconsin Seed Potato Certification Program,” Dr. Rioux says.
“From Alex Crockford and the inspectors in Antigo to Keith Heinzen and the State Farm team in Rhinelander, Andy Witherell and Brooke Babler on campus with the tissue culture program, and Drs. Amanda Gevens and Russ Groves as interim directors and current advisors to the program, plus the grower community, everyone has worked hard to keep the program running smoothly over the past few years and it shows,” she stresses.
A Maine native, Rioux received her Ph.D. in plant pathology at UW-Madison, in 2014, and has spent the past five years in private sector research and development, most recently with Bayer Crop Science as a product development manager for nematicides and bio-fungicides.
“People have been very welcoming and eager to help, for which I can’t thank them enough,” Rioux says.