Former USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture program leader Marty Draper is now the head of the plant pathology department at Kansas State University.
“I am excited to be getting back to the university setting, being able to work with producers, and trying to help the department become better than it already is,” Draper said in an interview with Grainnet.
Previously, Draper had been a national program leader in plant pathology for the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture since 2006. In addition to serving as a leader for the southern corn rust ipmPIPE, he led the Extension IPM Coordination program, now part of the Crop Protection Program.
Most of his life, however, was spent in North and South Dakota. His master’s and doctorate are from North Dakota State University, and his early career was as an extension plant pathologist in North and South Dakota.
He specialized in diseases of wheat and soybeans, namely Fusarium head blight, rust diseases an other soybean diseases. He also did work in sunflower and pulse crops.
Draper says that he wants to help young faculty have a successful career to build products that ultimately will benefit consumers.