PiercesDisease.Org Online with CalCloud Infrastructure

Pierce’s Disease (PD) is a fatal bacterial disease of grapevines that is spread by certain types of insects, such as leafhoppers. It has been present in California for more than 100 years and in the past has caused sizable losses to vineyards in localized “hotspot” areas of the state. Until recently, it did not pose a severe threat to the majority of regions where grapes are grown. This situation changed dramatically with the arrival of the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), an aggressive insect vector of PD. Because of this insect, vineyards in traditionally safe growing regions are now at risk from the disease. Considering only grapes, the disease now threatens a crop production value of $4.45 billion and associated economic activity within California in excess of $61.5 billion. There is currently no known cure for PD, which is why CDFA leads a longstanding, industry-supported program to help growers protect their vines from the disease and fund research to find solutions.

The PiercesDisease.Org website was originally developed in 2007 by the Public Intellectual Property Resources for Agriculture (PIPRA) headquartered at University of California, Davis.  It was to provide a way for over 200 researchers and growers to collaborate on this plant disease.   In 2014, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Information Technology (IT) team was asked to modernize the platform that would enable the PD research community to share best practices, available grants, symposium proceedings and resources through a website application.  Over a course of several months, the team developed and launched the new site on California’s new CalCloud Infrastructure environment.

Traditionally, CDFA IT would have to purchase equipment and software licensing to launch a new application website.  Now, CDFA IT can issue a service request and get approval to proceed within the CalCloud software and launch a new virtual instance to their specifications.  CalCloud Infrastructure is the future of managing server environments entrusting cloud deployment software to take care of the details.  By allowing IT to focus on delivering business solutions, CDFA can bring developer speed to drive business value.  The PiercesDisease.Org website is now online with CalCloud Infrastructure.

Contact: Robert Schmidt, CDFA Agency, Chief Information Officer, robert.schmidt@cdfa.ca.gov


About Robert Schmidt, Director Executive Office OITS

Mr. Schmidt is Agency Chief Information Officer and Director of Executive Office/IT Services for the California Department of Food & Agriculture. As a proven leader over a 20 year State IT career, he influences technology-related decisions and change across internal and external stakeholders statewide including 31 state departments, boards, and commissions. In Mr. Schmidt's prior roles at CTA and FTB he developed a reputation as the go to guy’ for execution of large-scale, complex projects and programs. His academic achievements are a true blend of business and technology as well with a Master's of Business Administration from CSU, Sacramento and Bachelor's in Computer Science from CSU, Chico.
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