Crystal Van Pelt is the Extension Educator for Steuben County, joining the staff in 2014. She serves as the primary local contact for the Community Development and Agriculture & Natural Resources program areas. Crystal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture from Ohio State University, majoring in Agronomy and a minor in Plant Pathology. She also obtained her Master’s in Education, with a specialization in Learning Design and Technology from Purdue in 2018.
She helps nonprofit and service organizations connect through her work chairing the Steuben County Interagency Networking group. She also serves as the county Master Gardener Program Coordinator, training and supervising volunteer and educational efforts throughout the county. She works closely with local and regional partners to plan and implement agronomic field days and workshops, and to conduct training for licensed pesticide applicators. Since April 2018, Crystal has been a part of Purdue Extension’s Drone Team. After completing the FAA licensing requirements, the team members have used quad-copter drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to find uses for drones in agriculture and beyond. Crystal enjoys sharing what she has learned with agricultural producers, including uses, benefits, and challenges with the technology.
Prior to her work at Purdue Extension, Crystal worked as a Research Associate in the Department of Plant Pathology at the Ohio State University. The focus of her work was to develop laboratory protocols to screen for soybean host resistance to economically important pathogens and pests including root rots, charcoal rot and soybean cyst nematodes.
Crystal holds a B.S. in Agriculture from the Ohio State University, majoring in Sustainable Plant Systems-Agronomy and a minoring in Plant Pathology. She is also working toward obtaining her M.S. in Education in Learning Design and Technology at Purdue University.
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