Tricia Jenkins

Teaching Assistant Professor
Urban Food Systems

Tricia Jenkins


Contact Info


Tricia Jenkins, Ph.D., is a teaching assistant professor in the School of Applied and Interdisciplinary Studies at K-State Olathe. She teaches in the urban food systems master's degree program, which is a specialization in horticulture. Jenkins has a 70% teaching and 30% research appointment.

She completed her doctorate in horticulture at K-State Olathe in 2021. Her dissertation was "Maximizing quality in grafted tomato production systems." For her dissertation, she studied the effect grafting has on the yield, quality and nutritional content of Tasti-Lee tomatoes grown in a high tunnel system. She has been trained in postharvest physiology of fruits and vegetables and has worked in Eleni Pliakoni's Postharvest Handling Lab at K-State Olathe as a graduate student and a postdoc.

As a postdoc, Jenkins conducted qualitative research to investigate the postharvest handling needs of organic produce growers. She also served as the program coordinator for Growing Growers — a K-State Extension farming apprenticeship program.


Academic Program Affiliations

M.S. in Horticulture with an emphasis in Urban Food Systems



  • Ph.D., Horticulture, Kansas State University
  • B.S., Natural Resource Management, Colorado State University


Research Interests

Jenkins researches urban food production and postharvest handling of fresh fruits and vegetables. She is continuinge her doctoral research by investigating how tomato grafting influences fruit quality traits.

She also is interested in conducting life cycle assessments and other sustainability assessment methods to help recommend more sustainable decisions in urban food production and postharvest handling on small farms.


Teaching Schedule

HORT 793: Farm to Fork Produce Safety (fall)

HORT 794: Urban Food Systems (spring)



Jenkins serves as an associate editor of outreach and engagement at the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Devleopment.


Publications/Scholarly Work

Jenkins, T., Cowan, J., Rivard, C.L., Pliakoni, E.D. 2022. Effect of rootstock on ‘Tasti-Lee’ tomato yield and fruit quality in a high tunnel production system. HortScience, 57(10). 10.21273/HORTSCI16634-22

Jenkins, T., Rivard, C.L., Pliakoni, E.D., Shoemaker, C. 2022. An audit tool for evaluating food security in urban food systems. Acta Hortic. 1356, 191-200. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1356.23

Batziakas, K. G, Jenkins, T., Stanley, H., Cunningham, B., Kang, Q., Rivard, C.L., Pliakoni, E.D. 2022. Effect of high tunnel production systems on the preharvest losses and harvest quality of ‘BHN 589’ and ‘Cherokee Purple’ tomatoes. HortTechnology, 32 (6).

Jenkins, T., Rundquist, J., Rivard, C.L., Griffin, J.J., Pliakoni, E.D. 2022. Identifying the optimum postharvest storage and handling condition for maintaining sweetpotato slip quality. Acta Hortic. (Accepted).

Jenkins, T., C. Kubota, C. L. Rivard, E. D. Pliakoni. 2022. Evaluating Ethylene Sensitivity and Exogenous Ethylene Impact on Early Growth of Grafted and Nongrafted Tomato Seedlings. HortTechnology, 32(2).

*Authors contributed equally to this work.