Fruit Web Pioneers Honored at IFTA Conference


Jon Clements of the University of Massachusetts and Win Cowgill of Rutgers University received the 2013 International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) “Extension Award” in Boston, MA, on Feb. 26. Jon and Win were recognized during a banquet at the 56th IFTA Annual Conference and Intensive Workshop. The theme for the conference was “Insights into Innovative Orchard Technology.”

Mo Tougas, President of IFTA, made the presentation: “We have never had a tie before when selecting the recipients of this award, but this year we do. The award goes to a Rutgers University professor/area fruit agent and a University of Massachusetts extension educator, Win Cowgill and Jon Clements respectively. These two guys have done a lot for our industry in the Northeast and have worked closely together for the past 20 years to do it!

“They are co-founders of the ‘Apple-Crop Listserv‘ in 1994 and the Virtual Orchard website in 1995. They also established a pruning and training website for cherry trees, ( Both have given there all for the growers and fruit industry in the Northeast” said Tougas.

In 2006, both Win and Jon were previously awarded IFTA’s “Outstanding Service to the Industry and Organization” for developing and maintaining IFTA’s original organization website from 1996-2005, and attending all Board meetings from 2000-2005.

Win and Jon have been long-time active members of IFTA with more than 53 years of combined service.

Win Cowgill, Professor and Area Fruit Agent for the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, has been growing fruit and other deciduous tree fruit crops for more than 34 years. Cowgill is editor of New Jersey Horticultural News (, assistant editor of Fruit Notes journal ( He conducts extensive research and demonstration trials in all aspects of apple, peach, cherry, and pear culture on 14 acres at the Rutgers Snyder Farm ( His job at Rutgers is to serve the commercial orchardists in New Jersey and beyond. He is a sought-out lecturer on apple culture worldwide and writes on his Jersey Fruit Ag Updates blog, (

Jon Clements has been an Extension Educator specializing in tree fruit horticulture at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst since 2000. Prior to that he was the Michigan State University Berrien County Horticulture Agent from 1998-2000, and worked as a field research technician with the University of Vermont apple team from 1989-1998. Clements has been progressive in bringing new technology and using innovative educational programming including video to make his audience better fruit growers. In addition to his Extension duties at the University of Massachusetts, he also conducts numerous research/demonstration trials at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center in Belchertown, MA.

Clements and Cowgill are also members of American/Western Fruit Grower’s editorial advisory board.

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