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Luke Haggerty Joins the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program


Luke Haggerty
Luke Haggerty

This article was adapted from Welcome Luke Haggerty, New Viticulturist for LERGP at CLEREL   by Luke Haggerty originally published in the August Issue of Lake Erie Vineyard Notes.

Luke Haggerty is the newest member of the Lake Erie Regional Grape Extension Program.  He joins the four-member team, based at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory, as Viticulture Extension Educator. 

Haggerty spent the last three years at the University of Minnesota, completing a Masters degree in the Applied Plant Sciences Graduate Program with Dr. Jim Luby, director of the UM fruit breeding program.  His thesis research project involved studying grape berry phenology for several cold-hardy UM grape varieties, profiling specific sugar and acid concentrations during grape berry development over three growing seasons.  These data were incorporated in a growing degree-day model to help Minnesota grape growers predict optimal harvest timing.

Haggerty grew up in South Dakota working on corn and soybean farms just over the border from Minnesota, and found himself visiting and providing advice to Minnesota grape growers – many new to commercial grape production - while completing his research project.

"After spending the past three years in a research vineyard, it has been great to get out and meet some NY and PA grape growers," said Haggerty.  "I feel fortunate to be joining such a respected team of researchers and extension associates and look forward to creating relationships with everyone involved in the bulk juice industry."  

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is a joint program of Pennsylvania State University and Cornell.  Its four-member extension team provides research-based outreach in IPM, farm business management, and viticulture to its clientele of 840 farms growing 30,000 acres of grapes in Cattaraugus, Chatauqua, Erie, and Niagara counties in New York and Erie County, Pennsylvania.

Tim Martinson is senior extension associate in the department of horticulture.