Staff

 
Murli

Dr. Murli Dharmadhikari

Director and Extension Enologist
p: 515-294-3308 | c: 515-231-9432 | murli@iastate.edu

2563 Food Sciences Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
As Director and Extension Enologist, Dr. Dharmadhikari’s main responsibility is to lead the development and coordination of the Enology and Viticulture program at ISU. The program includes education, research, extension and service projects aimed at building a strong and prosperous grape and wine industry in the state of Iowa and the uppermidwest region. Dr. Dharmadhikari has a Ph.D. from Ohio State University specializing in Midwest grapes and he is also the author of “Micro Vinification.”

   
Mike

Michael White

Field Specialist - Viticulture p: 515-961-6017 | fax: 515-961-6017 | mlwhite@iastate.edu

909 East 2nd Suite E Indianola, IA 50125-2812

Area of Expertise:

Mike White started with ISU Extension in the fall of 1994 and served as a Crops Specialist (Agronomist) in the regions of Southwest Iowa, South Central Iowa and Central Iowa up until 2007. In 2000 he began working with the fledgling winegrape industry until becoming a full time Viticulture Specialist in 2007.  Working with and through the ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute and the ISU Department of Horticulture, Mike now provides viticulture assistance to commercial winegrape vineyards, wineries and vendors in Iowa and adjoining states on a regular basis.  Mike has a B.S. degree in Forestry Management and a M.A. degree in Agronomy, both from ISU. He also is a Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Professional Agronomist with the American Society of Agronomy; a Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators and a member of the American Society of Enology & Viticulture. Mike’s office is located in the Warren County ISU Extension & Outreach office in Indianola, Iowa.  

   
Lani McKinney

Lani McKinney

Administrative Specialist
p: 515-294-3308 | fax: 515-294-4362 | lanim@iastate.edu

2571 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1061

Area of Expertise:
As Administrative Specialist, Lani provides executive level support to the Institute by managing and coordinating office activities; financial accounting, scheduling, communications, and program activities. Lani transferred to the wine instutue November 2015 from her former position with Value Added Agriculture at ISU.
   
Maureen Moroney

Maureen Moroney

Research Associate
p: 515-294-3176 | fax: 515-294-4362 | mmoroney@iastate.edu

2575 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
Maureen Moroney joined the institute as Research Associate in mid-February 2016. Originally from Syracuse, NY, she graduated from Iowa State University in 2007 with a BS in Biology. After graduation, Maureen moved to San Francisco, CA and began developing an appreciation for wine. Her first harvest internship was in 2008 at Chateau St. Jean winery in Sonoma Valley. She has worked in wine production through nine harvest seasons, including regions in both the northern and southern hemispheres as well as responsibilities ranging from lab to cellar to vineyard. Her winemaking knowledge and skills were honed during permanent positions as Lab Technician at Hartford Family Winery (2009 to 2013) and as Enologist at Dehlinger Winery (2013 to 2016), both in California. Maureen is pleased to be back on campus at her Alma Mater and to be involved in analysis and outreach that will contribute to the establishment of a strong, quality wine region in Iowa and the Midwest.   As Research Associate, she assists with research projects as well as education and outreach, performs chemical analysis of samples in the lab and oversees student lab assistants.  She hopes to continue to make advances in the lab while also participating in the development of trainings, workshops, and on-site visits for industry members.
 
 

Erin L. Norton

Education and Outreach Coordinator
p: 515-294-1555 | fax: 515-294-4362 | elnorton@iastate.edu

2569 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
Erin joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as Education and Outreach Coordinator in December 2015. After growing up in Canada’s Niagara wine region, Erin received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from University of Waterloo in 2005 and her master’s degree in chemistry from University of Windsor in 2008. This led her back home to Brock University to complete the Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology in 2008/2009. Erin completed harvest seasons working with Tawse Winery and Colio Estate Winery in Canada before moving to France in 2011. In Provence, Erin worked at Château D’Esclans for four harvests in the capacity of lab technician and then as traceability and lab manager. At the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, Erin will continue networking with industry members and students through workshops, seminars, on-campus classes, and the Iowa Quality Wine Consortium (IQWC) program.
 
 
   

Somchai Rice

Assistant Scientist
p: 515-294-7167 | fax: 515-294-4362 | somchai@iastate.edu

2573 Food Sciences Building
Ames, IA 50011-1054

Area of Expertise:
On August 16, 2016, Somchai Rice joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as Assistant Scientist.  She has lived in Iowa over 30 years, growing up in north central Iowa.  Somchai earned her B.S. (Biology), M.S. (Toxicology), and is currently a Ph. D candidate (Toxicology) at Iowa State University.  Her background and interests are in analytical instrumentation including high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry.  As an Assistant Scientist, she will lead enology research projects using state-of-the art instrumentation.  She will also participate in workshops and seminars to support extension and outreach to the wine industry in the upper Midwest region, including the state of Iowa.
 
 

Diana Cochran

Assistant Professor and Extension Fruit Specialist, Department of Horticulture
p: 515-291-0035 | fax: 515-294-0730 | dianac@iastate.edu

125 Horticulture Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
In addition to teaching Fruit Crop Production and Managment, and Understanding Grape and Wine Science, Diana serves as the state-wide Extension Fruit Specialist and conducts research in viticulture, pomology and hops, with the goal of reducing production costs and optimizing plant establishment. As part of the Northern Grapes project, Diana is evaluating cold climate variety performance; conducting on-farm research and demonstration studies on training systems and canopy and crop load management; and vineyard nutrition studies.

   

Kenny McCabe

Vineyard Technician, Department of Horticulture
p: 515-294-2751 | fax: 515-294-0730 | kgmccabe@iastate.edu

106 Horticulture Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
Kenny McCabe started working at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station as the vineyard technician in July.  For nine years, Kenny has been actively involved in the horticulture industry and academic research.  He received his AA degree from DMACC and then got a BS degree in Greenhouse Management from Iowa State University in December of 2011.  While working for the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, Kenny worked towards his Masters degree, his thesis specifically addressing mineral fertilization potential of soy-based bioplastics from container-crop production in the greenhouse setting.  He recived his MS degree from ISU in December 2015.  Kenny is thrilled to be a part of the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute and the grape industry in the Midwest and is looking forward to supporting the expansion of grape production in the region with a focus on fruit quality.

 
 
Craig

Craig Tordsen

Program Manager, Value Added Agriculture-Extension
p: 515-291-0966 | fax: 515-294-0221 | ctordsen@iastate.edu

1111 NSRIC Bldg.
Ames, IA 50011

Area of Expertise:
Agricultural economic development; Agricultural Marketing Resource Center; bioenergy economics; budgeting; business analysis; business planning; Database Development; Databases; economic development; entrepreneurship; farm business management; farm business planning; farm financial planning; feasibility studies; feasibility studies and market strategies for niche commodities; financial analysis; Financial Management; financial management/budgeting; financial planning; value added agriculture


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