Paul Wafler of Wafler Farms was named the Outstanding Grower for 2019 by the International Fruit Tree Association on Monday at the group’s annual meeting in Rochester, New York.
Mario Miranda Sazo, a Cornell University tree fruit extension specialist, was selected for the Outstanding Extension award.
Alan Lakso, a Cornell fruit physiologist, was named Outstanding Researcher.
And the publishers of three industry magazines — Meister Media, Fruit Grower News and the Good Fruit Grower, were chosen for the Industry Service Award.
Wafler, a Wolcott, New York, grower, comes from a family of early tree fruit technology and technique adopters. His family is known for orchard platforms, nursery work and high-density orchard designs.
Miranda Sazo, a Chilean native, is part of Cornell’s Lake Ontario Fruit Program. He specializes in pruning, testing apple rootstocks, feathering of nursery apple trees, the Tall Spindle system and orchard mechanization.
Lakso, for Cornell, focuses on the physiology and management of apple and grape growth, environmental responses and the integration with cultural practices.
Meister Media, publishers of American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower, was founded in 1932 by E.G.K. Meister and covers the commercial U.S. fruit, grape and nut industries and supports the Fruit Tree Association’s Young Professional Program.
The Fruit Grower News, in publication for more than 50 years, is the founder of the Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 Awards, announced annually at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo.
The Good Fruit Grower, grower-owned through the Washington State Fruit Commission, was founded in 1946 with a mission of grower education.
—by Ross Courtney
Correction: Alan Lakso’s name was spelled incorrectly in an earlier version of this story. Good Fruit Grower regrets the error.