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Steven Rideout

Steven Rideout
101E Price Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061 – 0331


  • Ph.D., Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, 2002
  • M.S., Plant Pathology, Virginia Tech, 1998
  • B.S., Botany, North Carolina State University, 1995

Program Focus

My position encompasses both a research and extension component (50%:50%) and is housed at Virginia Tech's Eastern Shore AREC in Painter, VA.

I have statewide extension responsibilities on vegetable crop diseases. With the wide array of vegetables grown in Virginia, our research program is one of the broadest and most diverse in country. Research trials are conducted in the field, greenhouse and laboratory annually on tomato, potato, snap bean, cucurbit, pepper, and cole crops annually. In addition to vegetables, research is also conducted on cotton, soybeans, corn, and wheat; all crops that are important to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Research results are disseminated in refereed journals, at professional meetings, and newsletters. Results are distributed to producers through Pest Management Guides, presentations at grower meetings, newspaper articles, and electronic newsletters. Generation of magnificent data is meaningless without proper dissemination.

Currently there is a great demand for students trained in applied plant pathology. Our program gives students and postdoctoral research associates the opportunity to be well rounded in this field through their involvement in our overall research program.

I also serve as the ESAREC's director effective January 10, 2012 after serving as it's interim associate director for one and a half years. It is my goal to better promote the activities of the ESAREC to our clientele locally, statewide, and regionally.

Current Projects

  • “Enhancing QPRAM for Salmonella enterica on Vegetable Crops” – this project funded by the US FDA is an attempt to identify risky production practices that could lead to increased Salmonella contamination within vegetable crops.
  • “Fungicide Usage on Field Crops” – these projects are funding through local commodity boards and agricultural industries aimed at better understanding fungicide use and timings in wheat, barley, soybeans, and corn.

Courses Taught

  • PPWS 5034 - Clinic and Field Experience
  • PPWS 5994 - Research and Thesis
  • PPWS 6004 - Field PPWS
  • PPWS 7994 - Research and Dissertation

Other Teaching and Advising

During my tenure at Virginia Tech I have had three students graduate with M.S. degrees, one student graduate with a Ph.D. and have placed a post doctoral research associate.  I currently advise a Ph.D. student, a post doctoral research associate, and a M.S. online student.   


  • Jan. 2012 – Present: Director, Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Painter
  • July 2011 – Present: Extension Specialist and Associate Professor, Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Painter
  • Nov. 2005 – June 2011: Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech’s Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Painter
  • Aug. 2002 – Oct. 2005: Research and Development Scientist, Syngenta Crop Protection – Southern Regional Technical Center, Leland, MS

Program Focus

As a faculty member with a 50% extension appointment, it is essential that emphasis be placed on establishing strong communication outlets. A sound working relationship with cooperative extension agents and other area specialists is mandatory. Agents provide a direct link between producers and should be included in interactions when possible. This forum also allows an opportunity to instruct agents of current research findings. On-farm trials are also beneficial to extension agents and producers. Positive results from such trials can be demonstrated to the cooperating grower and the adjacent farming community. Field tours at the ESAREC and farms can be a beneficial avenue to expose new disease management practices. Presentations at local grower meeting and altering Virginia disease management recommendations according to research results are the ultimate method in which research results can benefit producers.  Proper disease control tactics cannot be implemented unless the correct disease problems are identified. Annually the Eastern Shore Plant Disease Clinic assesses approximately 150 plant samples from producers and homeowners.

Diagnoses and recommendations are passed along to county agents and producers.

Current Projects

  • Using Social Media to Enhance Extension Programming – Our Facebook page ( has been growing over the past two years as an alternative venue to present recommendations, disease updates and other news.
  • Ensuring Safe Production of Virginia-grown Tomatoes – Our research team is evaluating production systems to discover risky practices that may enhance the likelihood of human pathogens on tomato fruits.   
  • 2009 - Outstanding Extension Publication Award, co-author on the 2009 Southeastern US Vegetable Production Guide. The American Society for Horticultural Science. Location: St. Louis, MO.
  • 2009 - Certificate of Appreciation. US Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition. Location: College Park, MD.
  • 2005 – Global Innovation Award, Syngenta Crop Protection.  On team for development of Avicta, the first commercial seed treatment for nematode control.  Location: Basel, Switzerland.
  • 2006 – Present – My graduate students have won a total of nine awards (scholarships, travel awards, and placing in graduate student competitions).
  • Mahovic, M., G. Gu, S. Rideout. 2013. Effects of pesticides on the decontamination of plant and human pathogenic bacteria in application water. Journal of Food Protection in press.
  • McAvoy, T., M. Paret, J. Freeman, S. Rideout, S. Olson. 2012. Grafting using hybrid rootstocks for management of bacterial wilt in field tomato production. HortScience 47:621-625.
  • Reiter, M., S. Rideout, J. Freeman. 2012. Nitrogen fertilizer and growth regulator impacts on tuber deformity, rot, and yield for Russet potatoes. International Journal of Agronomy, Vol. 2012, Article ID 348754, doi:10.1155/2012/348754.
  • Wimer A., S. Rideout, J. Freeman. 2011. Temporal and Spatial Distribution of Tomato Bacterial Wilt on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. HortTechnology 21:198-201.
  • Ojiambo P., G. Holmes, W. Britton, T. Keever, M. Adams, M. Babadoost, S. Bost, R. Boyles, M. Brooks, J. Damicone, M. Draper, D. Egel, K. Everts, D. Ferrin, A. Gevens, B. Gugino, M. Hausbeck, D. Ingram, T. Isakeit, T. Keinath, S. Kioke, D. Langston, Jr., M. McGrath, S. Miller, R. Mulrooney, S. Rideout, E. Roddy, K. Seebold, E. Sikora, A. Thornton, R. Wick, C. Wyenandt, S. Zhang. 2011. Cucurbit downy mildew ipmPIPE: A next generation web-based interactive tool for disease management and extension outreach. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2011-0411-01-RV.
  • Rideout, S. L., M. A. Hansen, N. F. Gregory, and T. A. Evans. 2011. First report of downy mildew of lima bean caused by Phytophthora phaseoli in Virginia. Plant Disease 95:71.
  • Wyenandt, C.A., S. L. Rideout, B. K. Gugino, M. T. McGrath, K. L. Everts and R. P. Mulrooney. 2010. Fungicide resistance management guidelines for the control of tomato diseases in the mid-atlantic and northeast regions of the United States. Plant Health Progress doi:10.1094/PHP-2010-0827-01-MG.
  • Hintz, L. D., R. R. Boyer, M. A. Ponder. R. C. Williams, and S. L. Rideout. 2010. Recovery of Salmonella enterica Newport Introduced through irrigation water from tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum) fruit, roots, stems, and leaves. HortScience 45:675-678.
  • Wyenandt, C. A., M. T. McGrath, S. L. Rideout, B. K. Gugino, K. L. Everts, and R. P. Mulrooney. 2009. Fungicide resistance management guidelines for cucurbit downy and powdery mildew control in the mid-atlantic and northeast regions of the United States. Crop Management doi:10.1094/CM-2009-0629-01-BR.
  • Wyenandt, C. A., S. L. Rideout, K. L. Everts, R. P. Mulrooney, and N. L. Maxwell. 2009. Development of a fungicide resistance management guide for vegetable growers in the mid-atlantic states. Crop Management doi:10.1094/CM-2009-0316-01-MG.