University of California, Davis postdoctoral researcher Brenna Aegerter has been named the vegetable crops farm advisor for San Joaquin County University of California Cooperative Extension. She assumed the position Oct. 1.

Aegerter holds doctoral and master's degrees in plant pathology and a bachelor's degree in plant science from UC Davis. Since completing her education in 2001, she has continued working on research in the university's plant pathology department.

In her new role, Aegerter will serve as an advisor to a vegetable industry valued at $265 million in 2003. The county's primary vegetable crops are asparagus, tomatoes, melons and onions. Other important vegetable crops are peppers, cucumbers, potatoes and leafy greens. She will address issues related to crop production, pest management, fertilization and irrigation and other important environmental considerations.

"Water quality will be a prime consideration," said Mick Canevari, the director of UC Cooperative Extension in San Joaquin County. "When we're talking about vegetable crop production, we can't leave out its connection with water."

Canevari noted the county's landmark San Joaquin Delta carries 75 percent of the state's water on its way to urban residents and agricultural fields.

"Our agricultural industry uses and discharges into that system," Canevari said. "It will be an extremely important part of Brenna's research and education work."

Aegerter said she will begin her new job by meeting producers and others involved in vegetable production in the county and initiating a research and education program that addresses their needs.

Aegerter may be reached at (209) 468-9489, bjaegerter@ucdavis.edu.