Campus: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- July 30, 2003

Cal Poly Professor Receives Presidential Award from EPA

Cal Poly Professor Jennifer Ryder Fox, head of the university’s Horticulture and Crop Science Department, has received The Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Fox received the award along with three other colleagues for her work in discovering and bringing to market a biofungicide. The fungicide uses naturally occurring bacteria to combat mildew that affects crops. It’s been approved for use in crops including blueberries, bananas, cherries, grapes, green beans, hops, mint, peanuts, peppers, pome fruit, tomatoes, walnuts and leafy vegetables. The natural fungicide, named Serenade, is harmless to beneficial insects and can be used in both organic and traditional farming.
Fox helped develop Serenade during her years with AgraQuest Inc. in Davis, Calif., prior to joining the Cal Poly faculty in 2002. She received the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Award in a June 23 ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

“We are extremely proud that Professor Fox has earned this national honor for her pioneering work in private industry. Her work in green chemistry and background in industry are an asset to the students of the Horticulture and Crop Science Department,” said Cal Poly College of Agriculture Dean David Wehner.

Fox earned a master's degree in 1980 at New Mexico State University, where she also
completed her doctorate in 1989. She earned a B.S. degree in soil science from Cal Poly in 1978 and has worked for FMC Corp. and the Western Crop Protection Association in addition to AgraQuest.
For more information on the awards, visit the EPA’s Green Chemistry Web site at For more information about Cal Poly’s Horticulture and Crop Science Department, visit its Web site at

Contact: Jennifer R. Fox (805) 756-1237

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