Vegetable Breeding Working Group (VGB)

VGBR is part of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS)

Minutes (2001 meeting)

  • 98th Conference of ASHS
  • Sacramento Convention Center
  • Sacramento, California
  • July 23, 2001

The annual business meeting of the ASHS Vegetable Breeding Working Group (VBWG) was called to order at 4:00 p.m., Monday, July 23rd, in the Sacramento Convention Center, Room 316, Sacramento, California, with Teddy Morelock presiding.

The following ASHS members were present: Teddy Morelock (Chair), Mark Farnham (Chair-elect), Jim Myers, Jack Staub, Ed Ryder, Todd Wehner, Chris Cramer, Kathy Reitsma, Linda Wessel-Beaver, Amnon Levi, Rick Durham, Mikel Stevens, Carl Jones, Xingping Zhang, Tim Ng, Janice Strachan, Roger Freeman, Rich Ozminkowski, Neal DeVos, Paul Gniffke, Rebecca Grumet, Jim McCreight, Rebecca Grube, Patti Fashing, George Hosfield, and Susan Schoneweis.

Morelock opened the meeting by noting that the minutes of last year’s meeting in Coronado Springs, FL were distributed to all members present. The minutes were examined, a few minor changes were suggested for edit, and then the minutes were accepted. Mark Farnham noted that Phil Simon, the current secretary, was not present and he agreed to take notes and put together minutes for the meeting.

First order of business was a discussion of activities of ASHS to be held in conjunction with the XXVI International Horticultural Congress in Toronto, August 11-17, 2002. McCreight indicated that he and Ed Ryder would act as the Conveners for the four-day symposium “Advances in Vegetable Breeding and Seed Production”. This symposium will be a likely venue for scientists planning to present research results. The process for running the symposium and others to be held during the Congress was described. Four keynote speakers have been identified for the symposium. These will be paid, invited speakers. ASHS members are encouraged to submit abstracts to this symposium. The deadline for submission is October 15, 2001 (this is much earlier than normal for the ASHS annual meetings). From among the submitted abstracts, McCreight and his organizing committee will select papers to be presented as oral contributions, designating others as posters.

Since most organized sessions taking place at the Congress next year are already set, discussion turned to the program for ASHS-2003 to be held in Providence, Rhode Island. This will be the centennial year for ASHS. Rick Durham, a representative of the Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardeners Working Group, lobbied for the VBWG’s cosponsorship of a Colloquium in 2003 focused on Heirloom Varieties and their current and historical value/significance. After some discussion, the VBWG voted to cosponsor this Colloquium. Jim Meyers agreed to serve as the VBWG representative or point person if this Colloquium is accepted. There was also some discussion of an additional colloquium topic on Genomics, germplasm, and human health. This would likely focus on nutritional quality of vegetables, breeding strategies, and germplasm issues. This colloquium might be put forward by the Genetics and Germplasm WG. John Stommel is Chair-elect of that group. It was decided not to cosponsor competing Colloquia, so no action was taken on this.

Next up for discussion was the Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence given out by the VBWG. This award was not presented to anyone this year, but there was interested in getting a push for a recipient for next year. Morelock suggested we establish a committee to solicit and then review nominees. He asked Roger Freeman, George Hosfield (sub-committe chair), and Todd Wehner if they would be willing to serve on such a committee. They all agreed to take on that task.

A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the joint ASHS/CSSA Plant Breeding Symposium that had been slated to be held next year in conjunction with the ASHS Annual Conference in Toronto. It was noted that the symposium is traditionally a free-standing meeting held immediately prior to the beginning of the ASHS meeting. The registration process for this symposium has traditionally been separate from the ASHS registration process. It was suggested that it would be very difficult to hold this meeting next year since ASHS would be tied up in the World Congress and this was already shaping up to be a complicated affair. Considerable discussion also ensued questioning the continued value of these joint ASHS/CSSA symposiums. The last few symposiums are almost exclusively attended by ASHS members when held in conjunction with the ASHS meetings and by CSSA members when held in conjunction with CSSA meetings. What is the point of holding these if they are not fostering more interaction between the Societies? Neal DeVos brought up the point that we started the joint symposiums because the VBWG did not feel it was getting adequate venues (e.g., colloquia) for presentations at annual meetings. And thus, the symposium allowed us to develop our own venue. DeVos thought that it appears the VBWG is getting more slots for presentations via colloquia and workshops at ASHS meetings and the original justification for the symposiums may no longer be relevant. Following this discussion, it was proposed that the VBWG not sponsor a symposium next year and that someone contact the CSSA president and the current chair of the breeding and genetics division to see what level of interest still exists in CSSA for continuing the symposiums. The VBWG voted in favor of this approach. Mark Farnham volunteered to make the contacts with CSSA.

Discussion turned back to the 2003 meeting in Providence with the recognition that the VBWG could still sponsor a workshop. Jack Staub proposed a workshop revisiting Genetic Perspectives on Essential Derivation in Crops. There was also some discussion of a workshop focused on the changing climate for moving germplasm throughout the world and new complications that have arisen in this arena. It was suggested that Staub’s proposed workshop would likely be of interest to the Intellectual Property Rights Working Group. It was agreed to pursue this cosponsorship. A final decision on this workshop was not made.

Morelock indicated that we needed to elect a secretary who would serve to take notes at the VBWG meeting in Toronto, serve as Chair-elect in 2003, and Chair in 2004. Jim Meyers was nominated for this slot. No other nominations were made. The WG accepted Jim as the newest officer.