1949 Honorary Life Member Selections


The Potato Association of America is indeed fortunate in having Dr. Donald Reddick, Professor of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, as one of its members of long standing. His interest in botanical science was early manifested as a student at Wabash College from which he graduated in 1905 . This interest led him into the then new field of Plant Pathology as a graduate student at CorneU University. Receiving the Ph.D. degree from this institution in 1909, Dr. Reddick has remained at Cornell University carrying on his researches.

At an early date he showed great interest in the phenomena of disease resistances in various plants. His studies of the past 25 years on the potato late blight Phytophthora infestans and development of potato varieties resistant to its infection, have been of utmost importance to this Association and the potato growing industry. Early in his investigations he realized that to obtain late blight resistance it would be necessary to go back to the wild species of Solanum for parent stock. This was not an easy undertaking, but with characteristic thoroughness a wide collection of foreign and domestic varieties and wild species of Solanum was made. Through untiring efforts, potato hybrids having Solanum demissum as one parent were developed and high resistance to potato late blight infection was achieved. Results of these investigations comprising many scientific papers published by Dr. Reddick and his associates in the Journal of this Association and elsewhere have stimulated similar researches by other investigators.

His efforts along these lines have resulted in the development of late blight resistant hybrid varieties such as Placid, Virgil, Essex, Chenango and others. Although certain of these resistant varieties are of major importance in local areas of New York State, others are being produced under certification for out-of-state distribution among seed growers and all are of great value to the potato industry in its research program on disease resistance.

It seems particularly fitting that the Potato Association of America should confer upon Dr. Donald Reddick the Honorary Life Membership of the Association in recognition of his outstanding research contributions to the potato industry


Dr. Eugene S. Schultz, A Principal Pathologist in the United States Department of Agriculture, was elected an honorary member of the Potato Association of America at its annual meeting in Kansas City on December 8, 1949 . This is an honor he justly deserves, after having served the potato industry of America well for nearly 4o years. His early education was obtained in the country school at East Greenville, Pennsylvania. On his graduation from Perkiomen Seminary he decided to study plant diseases, and went to the University of Wisconsin where he studied under the able guidance of Professor L. R. Jones. It was Jones who first taught him how to isolate the late blight fungus and other pathogens of the potato. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in plant pathology from the University of Wisconsin in 1913 and 1915 respectively.

He studied for his doctorate degree at Columbia University under the eminent mycologist, Dr. R. A. Harper. His training while at Columbia was in cytology. Studies in nuclear division and spore formation in the fungi apparently were too “highbrow” and impractical to appeal to Dr. Schultz. Although his doctorate dissertation dealt with the cytology of a certain fungus, he has devoted most of his studies to the control of the diseases of the lowly potato.

He was reared on a farm in Palm, Pennsylvania. This early training has greatly influenced his life and he still loves to observe good farming practices and be with the soil. He likes to relate how he picked rocks on the hillsides of his home farm while a boy, and it probably was this early association which has made the rocky fields of Aroostook County, Maine, so enticing to him. He first came to Aroostook County about 1912 and since then has spent every summer among the potato fields of this area.

During this period he studied numerous phases of potato disease control and published many papers dealing with this problem. He has a bibliography of about 5 ° titles. A few of the potato fungus diseases included in his investigations are Powdery Scab (sometimes humorously referred to as “political” scab), Phoma Tuber Rot, Silver Scurf, Verticillium Wilt, Blackleg, Rhizoctonia and Late Blight.

He also has contributed much to our knowledge of the different potato virus diseases and their control. His collection of potato virus diseases which he has maintained for many years, has been helpful to many students. He and Dr. Donald Folsom of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station were the first to demonstrate the role of aphids in the transmission and dissemination of potato mosaic, leafroll and spindletuber. They demonstrated that there are different kinds of potato mosaic diseases and that spindle tuber is a kind of virus disease. They also showed that net necrosis is a tuber symptom resulting from leafroll infection in certain potato varieties.

In recent years in cooperation with Dr. F. J. Stevenson and others, he has devoted his efforts to the development of varieties of potatoes that are resistent to the different virus and fungus diseases, as well as to studies of the nature of this disease resistance. The graft reaction of Virus X to resistant varieties and the development of varieties that are immune to Virus X, resulting from this work, are of outstanding importance to the potato industry throughout the entire world. Gardening is his chief recreation and he has been interested in testing new varieties of vegetables for Aroostock County, Maine. He is especially interested in finding varieties of tomatoes, sweet corn and water melons which will mature in the vigorous climate of this northern area. Occasionally he fishes for trout in the local streams. In the past, he and Dr. I. E. Melhus (formerly of Iowa) took their “shootin’ irons” and hunted for partridge in the country about Ashland.

Dr. Schultz is an extremely busy man, and the days are not long enough for him to accomplish the numerous tasks and problems he has undertaken. In spite of this, he is always cheerful and ready to give assistance and offer suggestions to his associates and farmers of Maine. A group of business men and farmers recently showed their appreciation by having him as their principal speaker at their annual banquet and honoring him for his many years of service in the interest of the potato industry.