New AgWeatherNet director

Dr. Gerrit Hoogenboom, a professor of agrometeorology and crop modeling, has been appointed director of Washington State University’s agricultural weather network, AgWeatherNet. He succeeds Dr. Gary Grove, who will continue his research and extension program in plant pathology.

Hoogenboom was previously a professor in agrometeorology and crop modeling at the University of Georgia, Griffin, and managed the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network (, one of the largest automated weather networks in the southeastern United States. He has served as editor of the journals ­Climate Research and The Journal of Agricultural Science.

He earned his doctorate in agronomy and soils at Auburn University in Alabama and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Ralph Cavallieri, associate dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at WSU, commended Grove on his work directing the AgWeatherNet, which he believes is one of the best such networks in the country. Grove has advanced the infrastructure so that it is reliable and extends to most of Washington’s ­agricultural areas, he added.

Iezzoni named Cherry Person, 2010

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 winner is selected by the National Cherry Festival selection ­committee.

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.

Broetje honored

Broetje Orchards of Prescott, Washington, has been honored by NCS International, a global food certification company.

Broetje was awarded the 2010 Chairman’s Award for its community philanthropy and social policies as well as its food safety efforts. NCSI recognized the company for focusing on a quadruple bottom line, balancing people, profit, planet, and a sense of purpose for its employees and the organizations. Broetje Orchards donates at least half its profits to support organizations that empower people to work towards sustainable communities and social change.