An upcoming Yakima POM Club meeting will feature two leading researchers in the plight against sweet cherry diseases, according to an announcement.

The discussion will include Tobin Northfield, an assistant professor of entomology at Washington State University, Wenatchee, where he leads a little cherry disease taskforce, and Holly Ferguson, who worked for WSU in Prosser on X disease in cherries from 2015 to 2018. She joined Yakima Valley College as an instructor in August 2016.

Northfield will provide an overview of X disease resulting from research in the 1940s and 1950s in the Pacific Northwest and from 1950 to 1990 in California. Then, Ferguson will present research she conducted on X disease leafhopper vectors while employed at WSU, focusing on population dynamics of leafhoppers within orchards and in habitats outside of orchards and on the seasonal incidence of X infection in commonly found vector species.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. on Aug. 21 at Zesta Cucina, 5110 Tieton Drive, in Yakima, Washington. A social hour starts at 5:30 p.m.

The Yakima Pom Club is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the promotion of the welfare of the Washington tree fruit industry. For more information, email

—by Jared Johnson