Spudman 7: Dennis A. Johnson
Dennis A. Johnson is professor and Extension plant pathologist at Washington State University. He received a bachelor’s degree in botany from Brigham Young University and a mater’s degree and a doctorate in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota.
Johnson was on the faculty and did research on small grain diseases at Texas A&M University before joining the Department of Plant Pathology at Washington State University in 1980. His research has been directed at developing practical management strategies for diseases of mint and potatoes. He teaches a graduate class in plant epidemiology and disease management.
For his outstanding research contributions Johnson has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), an Honorary Life Member of the Potato Association of America, and he has received the Life Time Achievement Award from the Pacific Division of APS. He is a 1994 recipient of the Friend to the Mint Industry Award.
What are the best words of advice you’ve received?
Stop and smell the roses along the journey of life.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
• Conduct productive research that will benefit the potato industry
• Spend quality time with family and friends
• Stop and smell the roses
What do you do to relax or get away from work?
I get outside and enjoy nature. I like to hike, cross-country ski, canoe and watch all the varied forms of plant and animal life in natural habitats.
What would you like to be your lasting legacy?
A legacy of past students that help growers solve plant production problems through well designed and creative research.
What are the top three things on your bucket list/must-do list?
1. Mountain-bike the Magruder Corridor in Central Idaho
2. Backpack after my 70th birthday
3. Do international, agricultural humanitarian service
What would you be doing if you weren’t at Washington State University?
Kicking field goals in the National Football League.
What is the one truth you’ve learned about the potato industry?
All aspects of an agro-ecosystem are governed by natural laws, and practices in harmony with those laws are required for efficient and long-term production and disease management.