All-America Selections Honors Two at AAS Summer Summit in North Carolina
All-America Selections took the show on the road, literally, for this year’s Summer Summit in North Carolina. Attendees met first in Charlotte for the Opening Reception followed the next day by an inspiring North Carolina welcome by industry friend and native North Carolinian, Debbie Hamrick.
The first tour took place at the Plants for Human Health Institute (part of the David H. Murdoch Research Center) in Kannapolis where participants learned about cutting-edge genetic research with various fruits and vegetables. From there the group traveled to Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville for a delicious southern-style BBQ lunch, tours of the AAS Trial Grounds and tours of the impressive 162 acre growing facility.
After making the trip to Asheville, the group then enjoyed the local Asheville food scene by participating in a “Dinner with Peers” at a number of downtown restaurants. The second day of tours in and around the foothills that surround Asheville began with a breakfast of famous southern biscuits at the Moose Café, followed by a short walk to the North Carolina Farmer’s Market.
Additional stops included two locations of the North Carolina Research Station to view trials of AAS Edible entries, broccoli, Echinacea, hops, truffles and other horticulture crops. Blue Ridge Food Ventures, a small business incubator, was next on the list followed by the annual Awards Banquet, held this year at the North Carolina Arboretum. The first award given that evening was the prestigious AAS Medallion of Honor, an award recognize someone with a lifelong dedication to advancement in the field of horticulture.
All-America Selections is pleased to announce Dr. Allan Armitage as the recipient of the 2014 AAS Medallion of Honor. Ron Cramer from Sakata Ornamentals, AAS President and long-time friend of Dr. Armitage, presented the story of his long and illustrious career, adding that Allan has been an AAS Flower Judge from 1983 until his retirement from the University of Georgia in 2013. Unfortunately, Allan was unable to attend the banquet but had recorded this acceptance video prior to the event. The second award of the evening, the AAS Breeders Cup Award, was established in 2004 to recognize a plant breeder who dramatically influenced significant improvements to those classes.
All-America Selections is very proud to announce that the 2014 Breeder’s Cup Award recipient is Ellen Leue of PanAmerican Seed. Co-worker and banquet Master of Ceremonies, Mark Gross, presented the story of Ellen’s vast breeding contributions and innovations during her impressive career. Ellen began her breeding work in 1982 breeding seed potatoes then moved on to ornamentals with significant introductions in petunias, impatiens and other crops including AAS Winners petunia Orchid Daddy, impatiens Swirl Monet Mix, diascia Diamonte Coral Rose and most recently, angelonia Serenita Pink.
And now her work is coming full circle with a renewed emphasis on edible crops, including recent AAS Regional Winner eggplant Patio Baby.