Rick Foster was awarded the 2010 Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists' Association (PUCESA) Career Award in recognition of his 21-year tenure as Purdue's Fruit/Vegetable Extension Entomologist. His efforts have improved our understanding about the biology and ability to manage key pests by challenging traditional treatment levels that reduced applications of pesticide without sacrificing produce quality.
Innovative examples of Rick's contributions include suppression of potato beetles with straw mulches, preservation of beneficial predators in apples, reducing diamondback moth damage using improved nutrient and irrigation management, and producing better economic thresholds for striped cucumber beetle in cantaloupe. All of these efforts improved pest management with less pesticides and no loss of yield or quality.
Rick has been recognized by his peers for his knowledge and leadership by being called to serve upon numerous departmental, college, university, regional, and national committees including IPM Coordinator, Co-chair of the Small Farms and Sustainable Agriculture Team, Indiana’s SARE Coordinator, Executive Secretary of the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association, the Purdue Extension Council, and as current president of the north central branch of the Entomological Society of America.