Iezzoni named Cherry Person of the Year
Amy Iezzona honored during National Cherry Festival in Michigan.
Amy Iezzoni hand pollinates her test plots at the Clarksville Research Station in Clarksville, Michigan.
Michigan State University plant breeder and researcher Amy Iezzoni has been named 2010 Cherry Industry Person of the Year by the Cherry Marketing Institute, a national organization established to increase consumption of cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development, and research.
The award is made in conjunction with the National Cherry Festival in early July. People in the cherry industry nominate candidates for the award and the National Cherry Festival selection committee selects the winner. Iezzoni was honored during a July 6 ceremony at the MSU Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station Travis City.
Iezzoni has worked as a plant breeder and geneticist at MSU for 30 years. She has developed and evaluated new cherry varieties at the Clarksville Horticultural Experiment Station in west central Michigan and other stations around the state, and also has test plots on several grower farms.
She was recently named lead researcher for RosBREED, a four-year, $14 million research project funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative that aims, through genetics, to improve the quality of cherries and other fruits in the Rosaceae family. Iezzoni hopes to develop tart cherry selections to address the challenges of growers and processors and provide new products for consumers.