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The Michigan State Horticultural Society presented Distinguished Service Awards to two people during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo.

Jim Koan, of Flushing, was recognized for his industry leadership on his 500-acre farm, where he grows and markets 150 acres of organically grown apples and hard cider made from them. His hard cider has 60 distributors in 40 states and is the primary focus of his business. (See “A man of principle” in the January 1 issue of Good Fruit Grower.)

Doug Buhler, director of Michigan State University agricultural experiment station (now called AgBioResearch) and senior associate dean for research in the university’s college of agriculture, was also recognized. He came to MSU in 2000 to head the department of crop and soil sciences and became interim dean of the college for two years.

He was honored for his leadership in Project GREEEN, in which special funding is directed toward research projects chosen in a competitive process in which industry stakeholders participate. GREEEN is an acronym for Generating Research and Extension to meet Economic and Environmental Needs.

The association said Buhler has recognized the importance to industry of key research and extension positions and worked to hire new scientists during financially difficult times.