Popular American Vegetable Grower Columnist Named Lab Director at TriCal Diagnostics

Popular American Vegetable Grower Columnist Named Lab Director at TriCal Diagnostics


Steven Koike discusses broccoli with a USDA plant pathologist. Photo by USDA

Steven T. Koike is retiring from the University of California Cooperative Extension, and in January 2018 he will become the Lab Director of TriCal Diagnostics in Hollister, CA. A long-time columnist for American Vegetable Grower, he will continue as a writing for the magazine.

Koike joined the UCCE Monterey County office in 1989 as the Plant Pathology Farm Advisor, and he conducted an extension research and education program on diseases of vegetable, fruit, and ornamental crops. His work focused on diagnosing plant problems, investigating the epidemiology of diseases, evaluating fungicides and other disease control methods, identifying and characterizing new diseases, and advising clientele on disease management approaches.


He collaborated on field studies involving foodborne bacterial pathogens.

Koike created and operated the university’s only county-based, fully equipped diagnostic lab for plant diseases, located in Salinas. During his 28-year extension career, he published 381 peer-reviewed and 711 non-peer-reviewed publications, including his 450-page book Vegetable Diseases: A Color Handbook. He presented research at many national and international conferences, gave 374 extension presentations, and organized and hosted 88 extension meetings and workshops.

Koike’s new position with TriCal Diagnostics will involve operating a commercial diagnostic lab for plant diseases, supporting research on soilborne plant pathogens, and providing plant pathology information to clientele who grow or work with various agricultural commodities.