Gerry Spinelli

Gerry SpinelliAgricultural Technical Specialist

Gerry is interested in water conservation and water quality issues and works collaboratively with growers to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and of fertilization management. Gerry grew up on an olive and vegetable farm on the hills overlooking Florence, Italy. He studied Agronomy and Tropical Agriculture at the University of Florence, supporting himself through college with work as a carpenter, hotel receptionist, landscaper, barista, truck driver, street musician and beekeeper. He left Italy in 2007 to work in Honduras on an irrigation development project providing technical assistance for smallholder corn and watermelon growers, and in London designing and installing landscape irrigation systems. He also lived in Lebanon, where he worked in a number of positions in agriculture and water, such as introducing integrated pest management in apple and olive production, rebuilding irrigation channels for tobacco and vegetable growers, implementing a queen bee breeding program and building sewage lines for the Wavel refugee camp. In 2010 he moved to California and completed a Master’s in International Agricultural Development and a PhD in Horticulture and Agronomy at UC Davis, focusing on plant physiology and water stress in almond orchards. Tired of getting his nose broken in the boxing ring, now he entertains himself with safer activities such as cooking, swimming and playing bass in a jazz band.

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