Dr. Kathleen Delate's current position as a professor and extension organic specialist at Iowa State University is a joint position between the departments of horticulture and agronomy, where she's responsible for research, extension, and teaching in organic agriculture. Organic agriculture is now a $35 billion industry in the United States, with 18,000 organic farmers. Her research focuses on pest management and soil fertility management strategies for transitioning and certified organic farmers.
Dr. Delate grew up on the East coast where her father was a statistician for Dupont and her mother hailed from a family farm in Magnolia, Minnesota. She spent many summers working on her cousin’s diversified farm in Minnesota, helping bale hay and feed hogs, which is where she developed a love for agriculture. Dr. Delate earned her bachelor's degree in agronomy, a master's degree in horticulture from the University of Florida, and a doctoral degree in agricultural ecology from the University of California-Berkeley. She has farmed organically in Iowa, California, Florida, and Hawaii. In 2014, she spent a sabbatical in Italy, studying organic no-till farming with some of the 48,000 organic farmers there. A video on the organic no-till system is available at: https://vimeo.com/user20353817/review/99643832/0a09248894
Results of the organic research are located on the Iowa State University Organic Agriculture webpage: https://www.leopold.iastate.edu/organic