- About Us
As a small fruit research technician Ann Hummell provides technical support for up to 16 different research projects at once. "My duties in these projects range from establishing research protocols to construction of growing systems, plant maintenance, data collection, data analysis and generating publication quality graphs and figures."
Hummell's responsibilities at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station are dictated by project priority and the seasons. "During the first part of the year, the focus falls on harvesting out-of-season strawberries, winter pruning and training of field bramble crops, and analyzing data. In the summer the focus shifts to the training of field bramble crops, the harvesting of field grown strawberries and brambles, and the production of mother plants for strawberry plug production. Late summer focuses on the production of strawberry plugs and their establishment into annual hill culture."
Hummell enjoys the scientific process of the research. "The greatest rewards come from taking a research project from the idea stage, through the developmental stage, to the publication stage. I guess you could say I enjoy seeing the "fruits" of my labor."
Hummell traces her career path back to two internships. "After interacting with a faculty member with interests in small fruits through my internship with the Consumer Horticulture Center at the Farm Science Review, I decided to take the small fruit management course. I found my niche: fruit research, following my junior year while serving as the Lonz Foundation Viticulture Intern at OARDC in Wooster."