The next time you bite into a fresh and delicious Michigan apple, you might want to thank Dr. Randy Beaudry.
The Michigan State Horticultural Society (MSHS) recently recognized Dr. Beaudry’s contributions to the Michigan fruit industries when it presented him with the Distinguished Service Award. First granted in 1970 during the MSHS’ centennial, the award is given in recognition of dedicated service toward improvement of the Michigan fruit industry.
Dr. Beaudry, Michigan State University professor, joined the Department of Horticulture in 1989 and served for two years as acting chair. He has keeping produce fresh down to a science. His research activities focus on preserving the postharvest quality of fruits and vegetables. His specific areas of expertise include modified atmosphere packaging, controlled atmosphere storage, non-destructive quality assessment, apple postharvest disorder physiology, the molecular and biochemical control of aroma biosynthesis and use of volatiles to inhibit decay. His research has led to the development of a number of patented practical devices and methods.
Dr. Beaudry works closely with the apple and sugarbeet industries with current emphasis on developing controlled atmosphere storage protocols for the Honeycrisp apple. His MSU Extension assignment with the Michigan Apple Maturity Program is designed to improve the quality of Michigan apples. He shares information on a weekly basis with Michigan shippers, packing houses, storage operators and growers.
Dr. Beaudry is also responsible for organizing and conducting the bi-annual Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage Clinics. He keeps operators up-to-date on recent changes in CA and packinghouse regulations, and methods for increasing efficiency of CA operations and techniques for improving their ability to maintain high fruit quality.
Organized in 1870, the MSHS is a 1,250-member education organization that supports the Michigan fruit industry and fosters greater interest and awareness in Michigan horticulture. It supports the MSU Extension regional educational meetings and co-hosts the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo along with the Michigan Vegetable Council each December.