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.
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.
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.
2023 Outstanding Extension Award to Leslie Huffman (left)
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.
- 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
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
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