Regional Grape Program welcomes new specialist to its staff

Submitted Photo The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program welcomes their new Viticulture Extension Specialist, Jackie Dresser, to their extension team.

PORTLAND — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is pleased to announce the addition of Jackie Dresser as the viticulture extension specialist.

Dresser is the newest member of a four-person extension team, which assists area grape growers with the implementation of research-based information, in the areas of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Business Management and Viticultural Production Practices in their vineyard operations. Dresser started on the research side of LERGP and brings her experience with spatial data analytics, GIS mapping and coordination of viticultural trials involving proximal sensing and variable rate management from her time spent as a research technician on the USDA/NIFA SCRI project “Efficient Vineyard,” a project headed up by Dr. Terry Bates, LERGP research viticulturalist.

Dresser was born and raised in the Finger Lakes region and apprenticed with a Land Surveying firm in Ithaca from 2006 to 2012. She passed the first phase of NYS Professional Land Surveying Licensure exams after earning a bachelor of science degree in land surveying engineering technology from Alfred State College.

Working on surveying projects with Finger Lakes vineyard owners led to an opportunity to join the Finger Lakes wine industry, where she was involved in production and sales (both retail and wholesale). She also developed a vineyard-mapping program using proximal sensing to integrate Precision Viticulture technology into vineyard management.

Dresser is delighted to be joining the LERGP extension team, and is looking forward to learning all she can about the Lake Erie juice and wine grape industry. She sees crop estimation, at the vineyard level for growers and belt wide for processors, as a critical industry need that can provide the information necessary to make critical management decisions during the growing season.

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is a cooperative effort between Cornell and Penn State Universities; the participating Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus counties in New York and Erie County in Pennsylvania; and participating industry partners National Grape Cooperative (Welch’s), Constellation Brands and Walkers Fruit Basket. The LERGP extension team provides research-based educational programming for commercial grape growers throughout the year at venues across the Lake Erie grape belt. For more information on LERGP, call 792-2800 or visit our website at

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. CCE-Chautauqua is a community-based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.