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Biographies of Speakers

Kim Blagborne
Application Technology Specialist Consultant, British Columbia, Canada
Born and raised on the family farm in B.C.'s Okanagan, agricultural engineer Kim Blagborne was the owner and president of Slimline Manufacturing (makers of the Turbomist airblast sprayer) for more than 20 years. Kim has extensive experience in developing custom-built sprayers, to spray everything from rubber trees in Malaysia to seed orchards in Oregon.  He has created sprayer training programs and techniques to improve calibration and spray coverage for applicators working in the U.S. and Canada. Kim has also designed and patented a toxic waste disposal product called the Eco mister.   A sought-after presenter known for his diversified knowledge of the art of spraying and straight delivery, Kim's goal is to provide growers with simple, effective tools to improve the ag. industry.

Dr. Jason Deveau (@spray_guy)
Application Technology Specialist, OMAFRA
Jason studied biology & psychology at Mount Allison University, plant cell physiology at York University and plant cell electrophysiology at the University of Guelph. Based in Ontario’s Simcoe Resource Centre since 2008, he researches and develops practical methods to optimize productivity, spray effectiveness and reduce waste. Co-author of “Airblast101 – Your Guide to Effective and Efficient Spraying”, he also co-administers www.sprayers101.com.

Ken Giles
Professor Emeritus Bio. & Ag. Engineering, UC Davis
Ken Giles conducts research, teaching and outreach in agricultural spraying with a focus on orchard, vineyard and field crops. His work in ag spraying began in 1979 with electrostatic spraying, continued into the 1980’s with sensor-guided orchard spraying, then into sensing and flow control systems in the 1990’s, expanded into industrial and manufacturing spraying in the 2000’s and addressed large unmanned aircraft spraying beginning in 2013.   He is a licensed commercial pilot and holds a journeyman ag pilot / applicator license in California.  He is a Fellow in the American Society of Biological & Agricultural Engineers and a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors.

Brian C. Hill M.S.
Faculty Research Assistant, Department of Nursery Production and Greenhouse, Oregon State University
Brian Hill is a soil scientist who joined the NWREC nursery team in the spring of 2019. He is a recent graduate with a B.S in crop and soil science and a M.S. in soil physics. He worked for 2 years in the OSU Soil Microbiology Lab as an undergraduate. His graduate work included installing environmental monitoring equipment and data collection/analysis as part of the OSU Solarization Project from 2016-2018. For his thesis he created a mathematical field model for predicting weed seed/pathogen mortality from soil solarization. He is currently applying his modeling skills and passion for sustainable practices of IPM to the North Willamette nursery industry through experimentation as part of the Intelligent Spray Project.

Gwen Hoheisel
Washington State University Regional Extension Specialist
Gwen Hoheisel is a regional extension specialist with Washington State University focusing on perennial fruit crops and more specifically sustainable pest management, blueberry horticulture, and application technologies. She has degrees in zoology from the University of Maryland and entomology from Pennsylvania State University focusing on IPM and insect diversity.  

Dr. Peter Ako Larbi
Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources & UC-Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, Kearney Ag Research and Extension Center
Peter Larbi has been a UC Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist in Agricultural Application Engineering since 2018, and a UC-Davis faculty member since 2019. His focus is on developing and promoting best practices for safe, economical, and environmentally sound pesticide application.  Previously, Dr. Larbi held a joint appointment as an Assistant Professor of Ag. Systems Technology and within the Division of Agriculture at Arkansas State University (2014-2018).  He conducted postdoctoral research at the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems at Washington State University (2012-2014) and at the Citrus Research and Education Center at University of Florida (2011-2012). Dr. Larbi earned a Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering from University of Florida, and a M.Sc. and a B.Sc. in agricultural engineering from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

Dr. Mark Ledebuhr
Principle Consultant, Application Insight, LLC. Michigan, USA
Mark is an application technology evangelist with a passion for helping find innovative solutions that are effective and practical. He has over twenty years of experience in fluid metering and spray application design. He has worked with universities, local, state, and federal governments, private corporations, and agriculturists large and small all around the world. He is past chair of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Application Systems committee, sits on the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Pesticide systems (E35) committee, is a member of American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE), and the Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA). Most recently he co-authored the second edition of Airblast 101: Your Guide to Effective and Efficient Spraying with Dr. Jason Deveau.

Brent Warneke
Faculty Research Assistant, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University
Brent holds a BS in Horticultural Science with a minor in Business Administration from Colorado State University and an MS in Plant Pathology from Oregon State University. During his MS, Brent worked on improving fungicide selection and application timing during bloom to control grape powdery mildew on grape clusters and leaves. For the last three years Brent has been working alongside the intelligent sprayer team at OSU investigating how intelligent sprayer retrofits can improve chemical use efficiency and reduce off target drift in wine grapes, hazelnuts, and ornamental nursery crops.

Tom Wolf, Ph.D., P. Ag.
Owner, Agrimetrix Research & Training
Tom Wolf is a spray application specialist, based in Saskatoon.  He grew up on a farm in Manitoba and studied agriculture at the University of Manitoba (BSA, M.Sc.) and the Ohio State University (Ph.D.).  Tom has over 30 years research experience in spray technology, including work on spray drift, coverage, efficacy, sprayer cleanout, waste disposal and risk assessment. At Agrimetrix, Tom conducts original research to support better spray application and consults within the industry to help introduce improved products and practices.  With Jason Deveau, Tom hosts and writes for the world’s number one sprayer website, Sprayers101.com. He is a past president and Fellow of the Canadian Weed Science Society.

Lynn R. Wunderlich
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Farm Advisor-Central Sierra Region
Lynn Wunderlich has served as a UCCE Farm Advisor since 2000, focusing on IPM in fruit trees and wine grapes grown in California’s Sierra foothill region.  She earned her B.S. in Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.S. at University of California-Davis in Plant Protection and Pest Management.  She began studying spray application for her M.S. thesis under Dr. Ken Giles, developing a sprayer for green lacewing eggs.  Lynn has given numerous extension presentations and field days on sprayer calibration.  She recently led a California Pest Management Alliance grant project where her Team delivered airblast sprayer trainings to N. CA. applicators and created an online sprayer calibration course.  Lynn and her Team were recognized and awarded a 2020 California IPM Achievement Award for this work.