Tag Archives: cherry industry person of the year

MSU professor receives cherry industry honors

James Flore, Michigan State University professor of horticulture, was honored as Cherry Industry Person of the Year. Dr. Flore received the award July 7 at the MSU Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center in Traverse City, Michigan, during the National Cherry Festival.

The Cherry Marketing Institute presents the award to individuals who have shown exemplary support for the cherry industry during their careers.

Dr. Flore’s recent research involves environmental stress. He’s developed a system, still in the experimental stage, to delay bloom in apples and cherries, involving misting the buds to keep them cooler in the spring. This will help fruit growers when warm temperatures come a bit too early and may damage crops.

He has been an MSU faculty member since 1974. During his career, Dr. Flore has had two “official” Extension appointments. However, regardless of his appointment, he was always still very involved in outreach, working closely with the cherry industry on educational matters, and heading up global meetings and symposiums on advances in cherry production.

In the current role he assumed two years ago, he’s still active with the fruit industry, mainly answering questions, solving problems and giving presentations on the tree fruit industry.

Jim grew up in a rural community and until high school, attended a two-room school. An important part of his education was 4-H. His parents were both 4-H leaders, leading him to take part in projects involving tractors, cooking, sewing, electricity and woodworking. In all of these 4-H areas, it wasn’t just about the project.

“What I value most from my 4-H experience was practicing parliamentary procedure, conducting meetings and learning to problem-solve. Those are the things that 4-H does exceptionally well,” he said.

Read more here: http://research.msu.edu/msu-researcher-named-cherry-industry-person-of-the-year/

Congratulations, Jim!

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Amy Iezzoni: Cherry Industry Person of the Year

Speaking of things cherry, Dr. Amy Iezzoni, Michigan State University Professor of Horticulture, was named the Cherry Industry Person of the Year by the Cherry Marketing Institute (CMI) in conjunction with the National Cherry Festival on July 6. Dr. Iezzoni is a plant geneticist and plant breeder who has focused her scholarship for more than 28 years on developing varieties of cherries that strengthen Michigan’s cherry industry. Dr. Iezzoni does not have an Extension appointment, but her position is funded largely by the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and reflects the importance of our integration with MAES. Her close attention to industry needs is reflective of the MSUE and MAES commitments to respond to new challenges and opportunities we learn about through our relationships with industry partners like the CMI.

 In addition to her own advancements in cherry genetics, Dr. Iezzoni has led a national effort to coordinate research and Extension work among geneticists and breeders with the wider array of plants that belong to the Rosaceae family, which includes apples, plums, peaches, pears and strawberries in addition to cherries. Their team was awarded a four-year, $14.4 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant-funded research project that aims to use knowledge of plant genetics to improve the quality of cherries and other fruits in the globally important botanical family Rosaceae. The grant is the largest awarded by the USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative since its inception in 2007. And the project includes an Extension mission that seeks to connect the findings of this broad array of scientists with industry needs and applications.

 As a kid who enjoyed climbing our own tart cherry tree for the cherries my older siblings were too short to reach from the ground and too big to be supported by the tree branches, it’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like to be surrounded by cherries in daily work. I think I’d probably weigh considerably more than I do. But I certainly appreciate all that Amy has done to ensure that kids and consumers will have even better cherries to eat in the future – whether they pick them or buy them from a grocer or farm market. You can learn more about Amy’s work and award at http://anrcom.msu.edu/press/070110/070710_iezzoni.htm.

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