John R. Hartman
John R. Hartman was born in 1943 in Bellerose, NY, and was raised from an early age in Manitowoc, WI. His B.S. (biochemistry), M.S. (plant pathology), and Ph.D. (plant pathology with botany minor) degrees were all awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1966, 1970, and 1971, respectively. In 1971, Hartman was appointed assistant extension professor at the University of Kentucky, rising through the ranks to extension professor in 1982.
Hartman has extension responsibility for diseases of forest, greenhouse, landscape, and nursery plants, as well as for urban horticulture and fruit crops. In earlier years, he variously held responsibilities for corn, turfgrasses, and vegetables. For 30 years, he has served the department as extension coordinator, relieving the chair’s shoulders of a considerable burden. His value to Kentucky has long been recognized, and he was awarded the Outstanding Extension Specialist Award in 1986. Hartman’s insight, notable lack of ego, and good judgment have ensured that an exceptionally compatible relationship exists among the Kentucky plant pathology extension specialists, and that the whole is greaterthan the sum of its parts. In 1992, the USDA’s Cooperative States Research Service Review Panel noted that the department’s extension unit represented “one of the most cohesive and well delivered programs in the country.” Hartman has been supervisor of the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (PDDL) since 1975, providing on-the-job training for four M.S.-level diagnosticians. The PDDL is a frequently hectic operation, particularly in the summer months, and processes some 3,000 to 4,000 specimens per year. Hartman has been, and remains, a leader in extension within and beyond the state for landscape plant health care, pesticide applicator training, food safety/quality, as well as tree fruit and small fruit pest management. For example, the Apple IPM Program, which involved three departments on campus and eight Midwest universities, has greatly benefited commercial apple growers, who were taught to scout their orchards and make rational spray decisions. Growers were also instructed with respect to apple scab models and were taught to run a computer fire blight prediction model. The value of this program was noted by the United States’ Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Report on Pesticide Use Reduction Assessment, which stated the following: “In 1992–1993, approximately 65 apple growers, representing 25% of the Kentucky apple production adopted a pest predictive program to manage their orchards. Adopters were able to eliminate 1 fungicide and 3 insecticide applications in 1992 (compared to non-IPM blocks), and 3 fungicide and 4 insecticide applications in 1993. Based on typical application rates, this represents a reduction of approximately 5,200 lbs of active ingredients (3,000 lbs fungicides and 2,200 lbs insecticides), and an increase to profitability of $35,000.” Hartman’s extension publications are numerous. In five separate years, spanning 1988 to 2002, Hartman and colleagues won Outstanding Extension Publications Awards from the American Society for Horticultural Science and/or its Southern Division. Hartman is an accomplished and collaborative extension specialist.
Hartman has maintained an applied research program relevant to his commodity responsibilities, publishing his findings in journals such as Phytopathology, Plant Disease, Plant Pathology, Journal of Arboriculture, and Journal of Environmental Horticulture. Hartman and his collaborators have conducted research on bacterial leaf scorch, for which they identified new hosts of Xylella fastidiosa, as well as on apple scab, dogwood anthracnose and powdery mildew, Pierce’s disease of grapes, tip blight of pine, and sudden oak death. Hartman’s findings have advanced both basic understandings of plant disease and practical management. Hartman has gained funding for his research from numerous sources including the USDA, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Horticultural Research Foundation, the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and various commercial companies. Through sabbatical studies at the University of California-Davis, ADAS in England, and INRA in France, Hartman broadened the outlook of his extension plant pathology programs.
In a department with a long-standing and particular focus on basic research, Hartman has been a key to students keeping “one foot in the furrow” by introducing them to the diverse, practical aspects of plant pathology. Since 1976, Hartman has taught or cotaught PPA 640, Identification of Plant Diseases. Students are exposed to a wide variety of plant diseases and learn how to diagnose them through traditional and modern techniques. They also observe diseases and their effects first-hand through field trips and diagnostic laboratory practice, acquire the principles of diagnosis, learn of the broad spectrum of diseases occurring on Kentucky crops, and come to understand the value of experience. Hartman has also presented countless invited lectures within and outside the department. Moreover, he has served on numerous graduate advisory committees for M.S. and doctoral candidates, in several instances as co-major professor.
Excluding public service, which falls within Hartman’s extension domain, there are many ways in which he has used his professional expertise for the greater good. Hartman has served APS loyally. Preeminent among these activities was his conception and establishment of Biological and Cultural Tests for Control of Plant Diseases (B & C Tests), for which he was the first editor-inchief from 1986 to 1988. Hartman has also served twice as an associate editor of Plant Disease (1982–1984, 2001–2003) as well as on several committees (diseases of ornamentals and turfgrasses, extension, public relations, and diseases of ornamentals). He has authored or co-authored chapters in the APS book entitled, Diseases of Woody Ornamentals and Trees in Nurseries. The ISA has also benefited from Hartman’s expertise through his committee roles (publications, annual conference educational exhibits, education program, and international) as well as his membership in the Arboricultural Research and Education Academy and the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Arboriculture (1986–1988, 1995–1997). In 1986, the ISA recognized Hartman with the Gold Leaf Award for Outstanding Arbor Day Activities. Hartman has reached a wide audience through his book publications. Particularly noteworthy is P. P. Pirone’s Tree Maintenance, a standard in its field, and now substantially revised in its seventh edition, for which Hartman was the principal author.
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