During the North American Berry Conference in Portland, OR, on Jan. 30, the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association (NARBA) presented its Distinguished Service Award for 2013 to Mark Bolda, University of California farm advisor. In presenting the award, NARBA Executive Secretary Debby Wechsler noted that Bolda has been important both to the association and to the raspberry/blackberry industry as a whole — as well as to the strawberry industry.
Bolda was one of the first to identify and draw attention to spotted wing drosophila, a new invasive pest in berry crops, and has taken the lead on developing management programs for this pest and others. One grower Wechsler asked about Bolda commented, “He is plain and simply an outstanding farm advisor who cares about the needs of growers and finding solutions for their problems.”
Bolda served on NARBA’s Board of Directors 2007 through 2010. He played a leading role in organizing NARBA’s conference and farm tour in Monterey, CA, in 2010, and was also a planner and presenter for the Association’s 2013 conference in Portland.
Bolda has been the strawberry and caneberry farm advisor in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito Counties since May 2002 and is serving as the County Director for Santa Cruz County as of Sept. 1, 2012.
NARBA is a nonprofit membership association of caneberry growers, chartered in 1987, with members in 36 states, eight Canadian provinces, and five countries. The North American Berry Conference, held in Portland, OR, on Jan. 27-30, 2013, was a joint meeting with the North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA). This is the fourth year that NARBA has presented this award. Previous winners were grower Ervin Lineberger, of Kings Mountain, NC; Dr. Marvin Pritts, Cornell University Department of Horticulture; and Dr. John Clark, University of Arkansas blackberry breeder.
For more information about the association, visit www.raspberryblackberry.com.