Colorado State University announces new potato breeder for San Luis Valley Research Center

CENTER — Colorado State University’s San Luis Valley Research Center welcomed a new potato breeder — Jessica Chitwood-Brown.

“We are pleased to have her join the potato research team as the new potato breeder,” CSU San Luis Valley Research Center officials stated.

Chitwood-Brown will be working closely with David Holm on the transition of the important and impactful breeding program.

This transition will happen over the next several months. Holm retired after almost 44 years as the head of the potato breeding program at the SLV Research Center.

Chitwood-Brown is formerly a research scientist from the University of Florida and is originally from Arkansas.

Chitwood-Brown earned a doctorate in horticulture from the University of Florida and specializes in implementing molecular tools in a breeding program.

While her focus in Florida was mainly on tomato crops, she stated that she was excited to focus on potato disease resistance, water use efficiency, and the impact of genomics on breeding.

“We wouldn’t have civilization in the way that we do without established agriculture. For thousands of years, people have been selecting plants that make better crops to feed and clothe people. Genetics are the underlying cause, the blueprint,” stated Chitwood-Brown in an interview by Sarah Ehrlich in the March issue of Potato Grower Magazine.

The SLV Research Center has been searching for a successor to Holm since he announced his decision to retire last year.

Editor's Note: The incorrect photo of Chitwood-Brown was originally uploaded with this story. It has been corrected. We apologize for the error.

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