The International Fruit Tree Association (IFTA) presented awards to Dr. Randy Beaudry and Amy Irish-Brown at its 59th Annual Conference and Tours in Grand Rapids. Each year during its awards dinner banquet, the IFTA recognizes five categories of outstanding industry professionals. This year, more than 400 orchardists, nursery professionals and plant scientists from nine countries gathered and honored the award recipients.
Dr. Randy Beaudry received the 2016 Outstanding Researcher Award. Randy has been a professor and researcher for over 25 years and is part of the MSU Department of Horticulture and MSU Extension. Randy’s recent research focuses on pre-harvest maturity and postharvest apple storage, specifically in the Honeycrisp variety. He has worked to reduce storage disorders and to improve controlled-atmosphere storage of Honeycrisp apples. His work proved that Honeycrisp apples need pre-conditioning after harvest before they are stored to eliminate storage breakdown. Also, his research shows that post-harvest treatments also increase fruit quality.
Dr. Vance Baird, Department of Horticulture chair, shared his thoughts on Randy’s award.
“Randy Beaudry continues to define excellence and balance in effective research and impactful outreach. His program at Michigan State University operates at the cutting edge of post-harvest science while remaining relevant to the tree-fruit industry in Michigan, across the U.S. and around the world,” Vance said. “This award from the IFTA recognizes the contributions and positive influence Randy’s research career has had and will continue to have, for the success and sustainability of the fruit tree industry.”
Amy Irish-Brown is a senior Extension educator who has worked with tree fruit orchardists for almost 25 years. She specializes in tree fruit integrated pest management serving west central Michigan, but acts as a resource for the entire state. Growers respect Amy for her abilities, dedication and knowledge, and they are drawn to her friendly personality.
Dr. Ron Bates, Agriculture and Agribusiness Institute director, shared his thoughts about Amy’s award.
“Amy Irish-Brown is a consummate Extension professional and works diligently to deliver to the tree fruit industry, science-based, cutting-edge information they need to be successful,” Ron said. “Amy is well deserving of this award and is to be congratulated for the recognition that her extension programming deserves.”
Congratulations, Randy and Amy!