IFTA Awards

IFTA’s Annual Awards are presented at the Annual Conference to those members furthering IFTA’s mission and the fruit tree industry.

Award categories

IFTA‘s awards are given in the following categories:

Hall of Fame

The Association’s highest honor, reserved for those that have made a lasting impact on IFTA, IFTA members, and the fruit tree industry.

Industry Service

Presented to an IFTA member that has distinguished himself/herself in IFTA or IFTA Foundation service.

Outstanding Researcher Award

Given to recognize excellence in applied research.

Outstanding Extension Educator Award

Reserved for members of Extension services that demonstrate a deep commitment to horticultural education and serving the needs of the tree fruit grower.

Carlson Lecturer

Each year, a special session at the IFTA Annual Conference is given by the Carlson Lecturer. This honor was named for Dr, Robert Carlson, the Michigan State University professor of horticulture, who in 1958 was appointed by department chair H.B. Tukey to provide management services to the newly formed Dwarf Fruit Tree Association (which later became IFTA). He created Compact Fruit Tree, the association’s publication, and organized the tours that took IFTA members around the world to evaluate high-density fruit systems.

Huffman 2023
2023 Outstanding Extension Award to Leslie Huffman (left)
Luby Carlson 2023
Dr. Jim Luby, University of Minnesota, delivers the Robert Carlson Lecture on “The Heritage of Honeycrisp” at the 2023 IFTA Annual Conference

2023 IFTA Award Recipients

Outstanding Grower Award - Joe Rasch

Extension Award - Leslie Huffman

Researcher Award - Dr. Jim Luby

Industry Service - Don Armock and Pat Chase

Carlson Lecturer - Dr. Jim Luby

Wallace Heuser Presidential Lecture - Dr. Rich Marini


Phil Schwallier, IFTA Hall of Fame Inductee, 2020 (with Harold Thome, left and Ed Wittenbach).

Photo: Fruit Grower News

Hall Of Fame

Michigan State University educator Phil Schwallier is the recipient of the 2020 Hall of Fame Award.

Past Recipients

  • Harold Thome
  • Dr. Terence Robinson
  • Dr. Arthur Thompson
  • Gary Mount
  • Dr. Robert Carlson
  • Evan Milburn
  • Dr. Steven H. Blizzard
  • Dr. Paul J. Rood Jr.
  • Wallace E. Heuser

Awards By Year

2022 IFTA Award Recipients

Outstanding Grower Awards - Ridgetop Orchards and Weaver's Orchards

Extension Awards - Dr. Jim Schupp and Dr. Kari Peter

Researcher Awards - Dr. Wes Autio and Dr. Tracy Leskey

Industry Service - Wanda Gale-Heuser and Adams County Nursery, Inc.

Carlson Lecturer - Dr. Ian Goodwin

Wallace Heuser Presidential Lecture - Dr. Lailiang Cheng


Extension Award – Dr. Bill Shane, Southwest MI Research and Extension Center
Grower Award – Don Rasch Family FarmsResearcher Award – Dr. George Sundin, Michigan State University
Industry Service – Mr. Jim Schaefer, Storage Control Systems
Carlson Lecturer – Luis Asin, Institute of Agrifood Research & Technology (IRTA), Barcelona, SpainWallace Heuser Presidential Lecture Award – Luca Corelli-Grappadelli, University of Bologna, Italy


Extension Award – Mario R. Miranda Sazo, Cornell University
Grower Award – Paul Wafler, Wafler FarmsResearcher Award – Dr. Alan Lakso, Cornell University
Industry Service – Good Fruit Grower, Meister Media, Fruit Grower News
Carlson Lecturer – George Kantor, Carnegie Mellon UniversityWallace Heuser Presidential Lecture Award – Mr. Nick Dokoozlian, E & J Gallo 


Extension Award – Craig Hornblow, AgFirst New Zealand
Grower Award – Richard Hoddy, Vailima Orchard
Industry Service – Apple and Pear Fruit Breeding Team, New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd.
Carlson Lecturer – Dr. Lee Kalcsits, Washington State UniversityWallace Heuser Presidential Lecture Award – Mr. Steve Saunders, PlusGroup Horticulture Ltd. 


Extension Award – Tom Auvil 
Grower Award – Bruce AllenResearch Award – Dr. Jim Matthias
Carlson Lecturer – Dr. Lee Stuart Tustin, New Zealand Plant and Food ResearchWallace Heuser Presidential Lecture Award – Roland Fumasi


Hall of Fame – Harold Thome
Extension Award – Amy Irish-Brown
Research Award – Dr. Randy Beaudry
Grower Award – Ed Wittenbach
Industry Service – Ken Hall
Carlson Lecturer – George Sundin
Wallace Heuser Presidential Lecture Award – Gregory Lang


Hall of Fame – Terence Robinson
Extension Award – William Craig
Research Award – Charles Embree
Grower Award – Eisses Farms and Spurr Brothers Farm
Industry Service – Larry Lutz
Carlson Lecturer – Steve Blizzard


Extension Award – Bill McPhee
Research Award – Gerry & Denise Neilsen
Grower Award – Sam DiMaria & David Geen
Industry Service – Perleberg Family
Carlson Lecturer – Denise Neilsen


Hall of Fame – Dr. Arthur Thompson
Extension Award – Jon Clements and Win Cowgill
Research Award – Dr. Dave Rosenberger
Grower Award – Tougas Family Farm
Industry Service – Elwin Hardy
Carlson Lecturer – Dave Rosenberger


Hall of Fame – Gary Mount
Extension Award – Dr. Tara Baugher
Researcher Award – Dr. Greg Reighard
Industry Service – Neal Manly
Carlson Lecturer – Desmond O’Rourke


Extension Award – Karen Lewis
Researcher Award – Don Elfving
Grower Award – Auvil Fruit – Del Feigal and Brett Drescher
Industry Service – Pete Van Well
Carlson Lecturer – David Granatstein


Hall of Fame – Robert Carlson and Evan Milburn
Extension Award – Alison DeMarree
Researcher Award – Duane Greene
Industry Service – Phil Brown and Phil Schwallier
Carlson Lecturer – john Palmer


Researcher Award – Jef De Coster
Industry Service – Dr. Hab Eberhard Makosz, Jef De Coster and the Braun Family (Luis, Jutta, Thomas and Jurgen)
Grower/Nursery – Karel Fleuren


Hall of Fame – Dr. Steven H. Blizzard
Extension Award – R. Scott Johnson
Researcher Award – R. Scott Johnson
Grower Award – Doug Hemly, Howard and Jean Albano


Hall of Fame – Dr. Paul J. Hood Jr.
Extension Award – Predo Jotic
Researcher Award – Dr. Simon Middleton
Grower Award – Howard Hansen
Industry Service – Jon Durham


Hall of Fame – Wallace E. Heuser
Extension Award – David Ferree
Researcher Award – Jerry L. Frecon
Grower Award – Rice Brothers (Mark and John)


Extension Award – Lynn Long
Researcher Award – Dr. Jay F. Brunner
Grower Award – Jack Pheasant
Distinguished Service – Dr. Bruce Barritt


Extension Award – Charles and Paulete Ax
Researcher Award – Dr. Werner Gruppe
Grower Award – Gerdinand Marini
Distinguished Service – Charles and Paulete Ax
Industry Service – Kurt Werth and Michael Weber


Extension Award – Stephen Hoying
Researcher Award – Dr. Herb Aldwinckle
Grower Award – Darrel Oakes


Extension Award Peter Waterman
Researcher Award – Gen Hogue
Grower Award – Jake and Jake Van Westen


Researcher Award – Dr. Greg Lang and Jim Flore
Grower Award – Don May


Researcher Award – Dr. John Palmer
Grower Award – John Paynter and Bill Montague


Extension Award – Ken Wilson
Researcher Award – David Pree
Grower Award – Harold Schooley


Extension Award – Timothy Smith
Researcher Award – Dr. Hiroo Koike
Grower Award – Geo and Dave Allen


Extension Award – Terrence Robinson
Researcher Award – James Cummins
Grower Award – Guy Ligonniere


Extension Award – Mike Sanders
Researcher Award – Jean Marie Lespinasse
Grower Award – Bruce Currie


Extension Award – Dr. Tara Baugher
Extension Award – Jerry Frecon
Researcher Award – Dr. Herman Oberdorfer
Grower Award – Bennett Saunders


Extension Award – Phil Schwallier
Researcher Award – Dr. Stuart Tustin
Grower Award – Bastian Blok


Extension Award – Robert Stebbins
Researcher Award – George Ing
Grower Award – Tom and Kent Waliser


Extension Award – Jerome Hull
Researcher Award – Roger Way
Grower Award – Evan Milburn


Hall of Fame – Joe and Bruce Rasch
Extension Award – Bob Wertheim
Researcher Award – Dan Neutebaum


Hall of Fame – David Ferree
Extension Award – Ted Swales
Researcher Award – Robert and Brian Dawson
Grower Award – Ronald Perry


Hall of Fame – Dr. Bruce Barrett
Extension Award – Doyle and Thira Fleming
Researcher Award – Charles Andre


Hall of Fame – Loren Tukey
Extension Award – Robert Carlson
Researcher Award – Harry Black
Grower Award – Raymond Granger
Distinguished Service – Pierre Hermon


Hall of Fame – Peter Van Oosten
Extension Award – Roy Simons
Researcher Award – Robert Edwards
Grower Award – Richard Bachman


Hall of Fame – Paul Larsen
Extension Award – F. Fredrickson


Hall of Fame – Jim Ballard
Extension Award – Hugh Hargrave


Hall of Fame – George Eger
Extension Award – Tom Chudleigh


Hall of Fame – Fritz Wafler
Extension Award – Roy Rom
Researcher Award – Oregon Rootstock, Inc.


Hall of Fame – Jerry Sietsema
Extension Award – Norman Childers
Researcher Award – Frank Gilbert


Hall of Fame – Grady Auvil
Extension Award – Art Thompson
Researcher Award – C & O Nursery


Hall of Fame – George Foote
Extension Award – Vernon Bull
Researcher Award – Donald Dewey
Grower Award – David Crowe


Hall of Fame – George Adrian
Extension Award – Henry Bennett
Researcher Award – Cal Bosch
Grower Award – W.S. “Stu” Carpenter


Hall of Fame – Donald Fisher
Extension Award – Dowd Orchards
Researcher Award – Brookdale Farms
Grower Award – albert Ten Eyck
Distinguished Service – L.C. Luckwell


Hall of Fame – John Carew
Extension Award – Eckert Orchards
Researcher Award – Morrison Orchards
Grower Award – H.B. Tukey, Sr.


Hall of Fame – Fred Amberg
Extension Award – John Bell, Sr.
Researcher Award – Richard Meister
Grower Award – Paul Stark, Jr.


Hall of Fame – Pat Voght
Extension Award – Frank Klackle