Rafael (Andy) Vega first joined NEFCON in 2011 on an internship from the Plant Medicine program at the University of Florida. The program focuses on a multi-disciplinary approach to plant health concentrating on entomology, plant pathology and plant and soil science.While studying at UF, Andy was funded by the USDA and worked for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Florida. After earning his doctorate in 2012, he returned to New England and officially joined the New England Fruit Consultants team.
Andy was first hired to help manage the research farm and assist with NEFCON clients in Massachusetts. During the summer of 2012, he assisted growers managing spotted-wing drosophila (SWD), an emerging pest problem in small fruit. This project involved monitoring and developing pest management strategies for SWD while working with local and regional extension services to help understand the pest complex.
Profile: R. Andy Vega, D.P.M.
In addition to his love of agriculture and biology, Andy loves music, is passionate about food and health and always enjoys sharing time with his friends and family. He is also a an avid European futbol fan and loves endulging in a game with his dog Tomato on Saturday mornings.
In 2013, New England Fruit Consultants began working with Connecticut growers. This expansion has provided Andy with valuable experience in a different fruit growing region. He also worked with another crop consultant in New York's Hudson Valley. Andy assisted in management decsions with several large growers in the Hudson Valley's rich apple growing region. In 2014, NEFCON officially expanded into the Hudson Valley and Andy now consults for over 1000 acres. 2017 will be Andy's 7th year with NEFCON and he is looking forward to helping service the Northeast's diverse tree fruit growers while developing pertinent research programs at the research farm that will help contribute to the knowledge base for the tree fruit industry