Bernardita Sallato, manager of the Washington State University cherry breeding program, inspects a tree as she leads a tour Thursday, June 16, 2016, through the Roza test block at the university's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, Washington. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Bernardita Sallato,

Bernardita Sallato has been named Washington State University Tree Fruit Extension Specialist in South Central Washington.

Sallato is originally from Chile where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture and a Master of Science Degree in Plant Physiology and Fruit Production at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC).

She began her professional career in 2008 as the director of the PUC soils and foliar analytical laboratory which facilitated her interaction with the tree fruit industry.

In 2010 Sallato started teaching undergraduate and graduate students giving her the opportunity to extend her knowledge and transfer her practical experiences to new generations.

In 2016, Sallato moved to Prosser and become the manager of the Washington State University PNW Sweet Cherry Breeding Program.

Sallato’s principal areas of expertise are soils and plant nutrition and plans to continue applied research and outreach programs in both areas. Other interests include orchard health, water management and production efficiency

Sallato said she is excited to become part of the Tree Fruit Extension Team and to provide leadership in tree fruit production in South Central Washington. Her goal is to create new tools and capacity to improve quality and sustainability in our tree fruit industry.

Sallato is located at the WSU Prosser Research and Extension Center. She is a member of the ANR Unit. Her email is and you can reach her by phone at 509-786-9205