Michigan State University Extension has hired Anna Wallis as its apple production specialist in the Grand Rapids region. Wallis succeeds Phil Schwallier, the longtime extension educator, in Michigan’s largest apple production region.
Wallis will work closely with Amy Irish-Brown and other MSU educators, industry members and stakeholders to provide horticultural programming and conduct research to support the state’s apple industry. Her work will primarily focus on the Fruit Ridge, the largest fruit-growing region in the state, and MSU’s Clarksville Research Center.
Wallis earned her master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Maryland, where she worked on a number of tree fruit-related projects, including variety evaluations, scion-rootstock compatibilities and production practices suitable for Mid-Atlantic growers. She later served several years as Cornell Cooperative Extension’s apple and grape specialist for Northeastern New York, covering the Champlain Valley. She earned her doctorate in plant pathology at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, where her work focused on the sustainable management of fire blight.