The Raymond J. Tarleton Student Fellowship Fund was established by Raymond J. Tarleton in 2009 to support graduate students in plant pathology research and encourage students to further their careers in plant pathology.
As Executive Vice president of APS for 24 years, Raymond J. Tarleton helped APS become the premier professional scientific society it is today.
In March 1950, Raymond J. Tarleton, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, was hired by the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC International) as a part-time combination technical editor and business manager. Tarleton quickly became integral to the association; so much so that in 1957 Helen Hart encouraged APS President George Fischer to check out a solution to handling journal manuscripts as was being done by AACC Intl. and to investigate a cooperative effort. APS ended up adopting the approach when President Arthur Kelman contacted Tarleton as to his interest in also managing the business affairs of APS, and thus a partnership with AACC was formed. Tarleton first was named technical editor of Phytopathology in 1964 and then was named executive vice president of both APS and AACC Intl. in 1967. This relationship between the organizations has persisted to the present day and proved to be of fundamental importance to both professional organizations.
Tarleton’s contributions to APS are phenomenal. Throughout his tenure, he oversaw the growth of the society and the staff supporting it. He had the foresight to recommend placement of a new APS/AACC Intl. Headquarters in a suburb of St. Paul, MN, where it has remained since 1971. Tarleton played a key role in initiating the publishing arm of APS, overseeing the publication of the first of the compendia series, the Compendium of Corn Diseases in 1973, as well as numerous additional publications that led to the formation of APS PRESS. He also was instrumental in the transfer of Plant Disease Reporter from the USDA to APS and its development as the second APS journal, Plant Disease, starting in 1980. And he played a major role in the development of an agreement and business plan with the International Society for Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions that led to the launch of MPMI in 1987 as the society’s third journal. As APS grew, Tarleton continually encouraged early adoption of electronic technologies, to gain efficiencies in operations and innovation of products and services. This focus has led to the success of APS’s online publications and communications initiatives. He also played a major role in the formation and launch of the APS Foundation in 1986 and served as secretary of the first APS Foundation board.
His dedication to science and genuine interest in the needs of the membership of the society, allowed him to lead his staff to deliver outstanding member value throughout his tenure. Tarleton retired in 1991, but left behind an ongoing culture of excellence and innovation that continues to this day.