University of Wisconsin-Extension vegetable pathologist Walter Stevenson was inducted into the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements in the development of the state's potato industry.
His research and extension work over the last 28 years has covered a wide array of crops in the state including potato, snap beans, peas, carrots, onions and mint. He has helped in developing comprehensive disease management programs for these crops.
He also developed a forecasting model for the early blight disease of potato. The combination of this model with refined models for late blight forecasting and crop management models contributed by other members of the UW extension potato and vegetable team led to the release of a succession of software packages for grower and IPM consultant use that included the Potato Disease Management, Potato Crop Management and Wisdom' software.
His research has also contributed to numerous emergency and local fungicide labels, experimental use permits and the early national registration of disease management tools for potato and vegetable crops.
He began his professional career in extension plant pathology as a faculty member at Purdue University in 1972. He returned to University of Wisconsin-Madison -- where in 1972 he had earned his Ph.D. degree in plant pathology -- as vegetable pathologist in 1979.