Top Grower Conferences Present Awards

Some of the biggest conferences and trade shows for U.S. fruit, nut and vegetable growers were held last week in Michigan, Washington, and California, and editors from American Vegetable Grower® and American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines were on hand.

To check out the Tweets sent out by editors David Eddy (@Dave_WFG_AVG) and Christina Herrick (@HerrickAFG), here are the shows they attended, along with hashtags: North American Berry Conference, #BerryConf; Washington State Tree Fruit Association, #WAHort; Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo, #GLEXPO; and Almond Growers of California, #Almond Conf.

Stephanie Makela of Michigan State University, left, receives a scholarship from Carol Miller, Editor of American Vegetable Grower magazine. (Photo credit: David Eddy)
Stephanie Makela of Michigan State University, left, receives a scholarship from Carol Miller, Editor of American Vegetable Grower magazine. (Photo credit: David Eddy)

Plenty of awards were given out at the shows. At the Great Lakes Expo Annual Banquet, the following award winners were announced: Master Farmer Award, Mike Kenny, Kenny Inc.; Master Farmer Associate Award, Tim Riley, Wilbur-Ellis; Distinguished Service Awards, Dave Trinka, Michigan Blueberry Growers; and Gene and Dean Veliquette, Cherry Ke.

The Jordan Tatter Scholarships went to Rock Klenk and Heather Leach, both of Michigan State University.

Other scholarship winners included: Raleigh Baehre, Ryan DeMorrow, Markah Frost, Ari Grode, Sam Hitchcock Tilton, Nicole Kaupa, James Larson, Stephanie Makela, Tyler Oomen, Madison Rasch, Edgar Torres Salinas, and Tye Wittenbach

West Mathison served as the emcee of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association’s annual banquet held last week. Mathison took a moment at the beginning of the banquet to note the passing of Bill Evans, the largest apple grower in the state.

Mike Robinson of Double Diamond Fruit in Quincy, WA, was awarded the association’s silver apple award. Todd Einhorn, associate professor at Michigan State University and former associate professor of horticulture at Oregon State University, was awarded the industry’s silver pear award.

Jay Brunner, an entomologist with Washington State University and former director of the Washington State Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award.

Francisco Sarmiento, a faculty member with Wenatchee Valley College’s Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program, was awarded the Latino Leadership Award.

Bill and Mark Zirkle were named the association’s 2016 Growers of the Year.

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