A new grant funded program is coming to our area to bring students from across the nation to learn about Pennsylvania’s grape and wine industry. And a local professor from Penn State Behrend is leading the way to bring the program to Erie.
Fontaine Glenn has more on this program from Penn State Behrend.
This 8 week program starting in June will give four students an opportunity to study viticulture and vineyard management at local wineries, including Mazza Vineyards and Presque Isle Wine Cellars.
The four year, $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is supporting this summer research program based out of the Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center in North East.
Professors across many Penn State campus’ make up the Penn State Grape Team, including two professors at Behrend.
Professor Michael Campbell is the principal investigator for the team and is leading the program.
During their research, they will be working with local wineries and growing their own grapes at the Grape Research and Extension Center, plus doing independent projects as well.
“We want students in multiple disciplines, because they’re going to bring an aspect to it. Plus it gives them a chance to look outside of where their major might be to see where they might want to go career wise, because not everybody winds up doing what they say they’re going to do when they graduate,” said Michael Campbell, Professor of Biology/ Director of Lake Erie Grape Research and Extension Center.
But, the program had to be changed slightly due to the pandemic.
This year, they are looking for only local students due to housing. Originally, the students would be housed at Penn State Behrend, but because of the pandemic they will have to find their own housing.
Professor Campbell said housing should be available at Behrend in 2022.