MiguelDuarte 112Dr. Miguel Duarte received his degree as an Agronomist with emphasis in Pomology and Viticulture from the University of Sonora, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. He earned a Master’s Degree in Viticulture & Enology at The University of California, Davis. He also earned a Ph.D. in Horticulture with emphasis in Plant Physiology and Viticulture from The University of Arizona.

Dr. Duarte has over 25 years of professional experience in Viticulture; he has consulted extensively in the domestic and international arenas, with well-known Viticulturist & Enologist such as; Dr. Harold P. Olmo, Dr. Lloyd A. Lider. Dr. Mark W. Kliewer and Wine Microbiologist Dr. Ralph W. Kunkee. He currently consults for large wine and table grape operations in California, Chile, Argentina and Mexico.

He has been a consultant for California Safe Soil, taught advanced Viticulture and Wine Grape Production at California State University Fresno and has also lectured at the University of California, Davis and at the Pontifica Catholic University in Santiago, Chile.

Dr. Duarte has consulted for the Government of Chile in Viticulture & Enology programs as well as in programs to attract foreign Investment to Chile for the agriculture sector. Dr. Duarte is currently a senior technical Adviser to the State of Sonora Secretary of Agriculture in Mexico in agriculture strategic planning and foreign investment in the Ag-Industry.

He is a published author and his specialties include Tropical Viticulture Management, Plant Physiology, Trellis Systems, Rootstock Selection and Variety Selecting, Table Grape Production, Raisin Production and Wine Grape Production.

Contact Information

Duarte & Associates
Agricultural Consultants | Market Research
Fresno, Ca 93729

(559) 270-6647

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MarkGaskell 200Dr. Mark Gaskell of the University of California Co-Op Extension focuses on specialty crops, small fruit crops, vegetables, sustainable agriculture, small farms in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Mark graduated with his M.S. in Crop Physiology and Production from Iowa State in 1978, and earned his Ph.D. in Crop Physiology and Production from Iowa State University in 1980.

Dr. Gaskell has won a number of prestigious awards, including:

Gaskell has become a worldwide expert in alternative crops and markets, including off-season, fresh-market small fruit (blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry) production, fresh-market edamame production in California for domestic or export markets, lychee, longan, and exotic subtropical fruit production in California.

He works closely with small farms and vendors on optimizing soil management practices for efficient organic vegetable production and improving production and marketing efficiency on small farms

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension Santa Barbara County
2156 Sierra Way, Suite C
San Luis Obispo, CA, CA 93401
(805) 788-2374
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SurendraDara 180Dr. Surendra Dara of the University of the California Co-Op Extension focuses his work on strawberries, vegetable crops, general plants and their systems, insects, mites, and other arthropods affecting plants.

Dara, an Extension entomologist since January 2009, serves San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and is an affiliated UC IPM advisor, part of the UC Statewide IPM Program. He is also affiliated to the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis.

In his role as the strawberry and vegetable crops advisor, Dara primarily looks after pest management, but also works on disease, irrigation, weed, and nutrition management issues. As an IPM advisor, he contributes to the IPM solutions of various crops grown in California. With his expertise in entomopathology, he serves as a resource person for microbial control of various pests in different parts of the state.

Dara has written 27 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, eight book/manual chapters, 35 articles in other journals, and 141 extension articles. He has also co-edited three manuals. He has delivered several presentations worldwide. He has trained strawberry growers in India, Kosovo, Moldova, and Transnistria, and also lends his expertise to strawberry industries in a number of countries.

Dara earned both his bachelor's degree and master's degree at the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, India, obtaining his bachelor's degree in agricultural sciences, and his master's degree in entomology. He went on to receive his doctorate in entomology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va. in 1995. He also has a post-graduate diploma in Applied Information Technology from Canada.

After receiving his doctorate, Dara served as an entomopathologist from 1996-1999 for the Plant Health Management Division, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture under the United Nations Development Program, Cotonou, Republic of Benin in West Africa. He was a post-doctoral research associate from 2003-2004 with the Department of Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, and an independent software consultant, 2001-2003.

His other work experience includes assistant project scientist, 2005-2006, with the UC Davis Department of Nematology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology) through USDA-ARS, and quality control manager from 2006 to 2009 for Certis USA, Wasco.


UC Cooperative Extension
2156 Sierra Way, Ste C
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 781-5940



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