At the 17th annual Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo Banquet on Wednesday night, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council presented industry awards and scholarships.
Horticultural Society outgoing president Mario Miezio presented Distinguished Service Awards to Allyn Anthony, a retired grower and longtime advocate for the industry who has served for the past 15 years as executive secretary of the Horticultural Society.
In that role Anthony helped to grow the expo into the premier event it is today, according to his colleagues.
Miezio also presented a Distinguished Service Award to Michigan State University Horticulturist Eric Hanson, who works primarily with berry crops, helping growers with everything from nutrition and weed control to high tunnel production and organic practices.
Fifth generation grower Allan Overhiser was recognized with the Horticultural Society’s Distinguished Service Award.
Overhiser grows peaches, apples, cherries, plums and pears in South Haven, Michigan, with his wife Kim and the help of their five kids during the summer.
Overhiser is a leader in the fruit industry and his community, serving roles including the Farm Bureau, the Michigan Agricultural Commodity Marketing Association and its Apple Committee, the Michigan Plum Advisory Committee, the local soil and water conservation district, and as president of the Horticultural Society in 1999.
MSU entomologist Rufus Isaacs was also recognized with the Distinguished Service Award.
Isaacs has spent 20 years working with pests in berry crops, including critical work on Japanese beetle, grape and berry moth, and spotted wing drosophila. His lab is also studying native pollinators and their importance to the state’s fruit crops.
Fifteen students received scholarships from the Horticultural Society and Vegetable Council: Jacquelyn Albert; Jacqueline Gleason; Cara Goch; Holly Hooper; Hailey Hughes; Gregory Kugel; Margaret Lund; Sarah Ruth; Luke Schwass; Suzanne Slack; Alyssa Tarrant; Tye Thompson; and Joshua VanderWeide. The Jordan Tatter Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ryan DeMorrow and Christopher Gottschalk.