Vegetable Breeding Working Group (VGBR)

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

Minutes (2013 meeting)

  • Vegetable Breeding Working Group Business Meeting
  • American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference
  • Palm Desert, CA
  • 23 July 2013

Attendance. Mark Farnham, Gad Yousef, Robert Barham, Laura Brown, Rebecca Brown, Xin Zhao, Rebecca Grumet, David Henik, Susana Vivar-Evans, Dilip Panthee, Sam Hutton, David Francis, Ainong Shi, Jim McCreight, Phil Simon, Angela Davis, Beiquan Mou.

General Business. Dr. Mark Farnham, Chair of the VBWG, called the meeting to order. The other two officers of the VBWG, Chair-elect (Michael Mazourek) and Secretary (Kevin Crosby), were absent.

Minutes and Activities. Last year’s minutes were not on hand. It was presumed that the Chair-elect (i.e., last year’s Secretary) did not share the minutes with Dr. Farnham. Dr. Farnham reminded the group that the VBWG must send in an annual report in order to maintain active status. He also mentioned that Dr. Todd Wehner has a link for the VBWG (which includes minutes) on his website.

Membership of the VBWG is open to anyone working in vegetable breeding or interested in the topic. There are no conditions or requirements.  Sign up and be ready to contribute to the society and the Working Group as a volunteer! The group was reminded that signing in at the VBWG meeting automatically registers one as a member of the group.

2013 Vegetable Breeding Award of Excellence. A major event for the WG is the Vegetable Breeding award. The three current and two previous officers make the vote. Dr. Jim McCreight reviewed all previous award winners to date. The 2012 Plant Breeding Award of Excellence was given post-humously to Dr. Teddy Morelock for his excellent breeding work on southern peas, leafy brassicas, and spinach. The Department Head from the Horticulture Department at the University of Arkansas, Dr. David Hensley, accepted the award on behalf of Teddy, his colleagues, and family in Arkansas. Dr. Hensley said that the award will hang in a visible location on a wall in the Department of Horticulture (UA).

The 2013 Plant Breeding Award of Excellence was given to Dr. Philipp W. Simon with the USDA-ARS, Madison, WI.  Phil was present and received the award, which was given for his excellent breeding and genetics work on carrots, garlic and other vegetable crops. Congratulations!

VBWG supported events at this meeting. The 2013 Colloquium on “Advances and Critical Issues in Breeding Cultivars for Organic Cropping Systems and Developing Methods of Organic Seed Production” was held Monday, July 22 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm. This was jointly organized with the Organic Agriculture Working Group. Overall, there was good participation and the colloquium should be regarded as a successful one. A publication for this Colloquium could be pursued and would need a quorum of the speakers to contribute.

Dr. Farnham said that we are in the process of submitting (and hopefully publishing) articles from the 2012 colloquium sponsored by the VBWG, which was one of the most successful ones (based on attendance) in recent year.

VBWG supported events in future meetings. The VBWG was asked to cosponsor a colloquium on “Genetic Improvement of Taste, Flavor and Appearance of Fruits and Vegetables” to be proposed for the 2014 meeting in Orlando, FL. The primary sponsor will be the Fruit Breeding Working Group. Dr. Vance Whitaker briefly attended this portion of the meeting to comment on possibilities; the idea of the FBWG was on consumer-sensory approaches to breeding in fruits and vegetables. All present voted in favor of the VBWG serving as a cosponsor of this proposed colloquium. Sam Hutton agreed to work with the Chair of the FBWG to make sure vegetables of interest are covered by suggested speakers for the event.

There was a short discussion of possible subjects for a workshop sponsored by the VBWG for the 2014 Orlando meeting.  However, time was short so the possibility of sponsoring a workshop was suggested for discussion offline.

Election of new officers. Sam Hutton accepted the nomination for secretary, and Dr. Barham seconded. All present voted unanimously to elect Dr. Hutton.

New officers are:

  • Dr. Michael Mazourek, Chair
  • Dr. Kevin Crosby, Chair-elect
  • Dr. Sam Hutton, Secretary

There being no further points for discussion, the Chair adjourned the meeting.

Prepared by Mark Farnham.

Web site for our working group: