Dave Trinka and twin brothers Gene and Dean Veliquette, were honored by the Michigan State Horticultural Society with its Distinguished Service Award during the Great Lakes Expo Dec. 7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Trinka is the vice president of agri-research and horticultural services for MBG Marketing. He oversees all horticulture and research initiatives for the cooperative. The group represents blueberry growers in eight states and Canada.
He also is the chairman of MBG’s blueberry breeding company. He previously served as the horticulturalist and member relations manager for Michigan Blueberry Growers.
Dean Veliquette is president of Cheries R Us Inc., which produces up to 20 million pounds of cherries per year from 2,800 acres. He and Gene, along with another brother, Norm, formed Cherry Ke in 1972. Since then, they formed several companies known for quality products, environmentally sound growing practices and innovative equipment designs and adaptations.
Gene Veliquette, who died in 2015, was represented by his widow, Linda.