Dedicated Service Award

2019 - Sharri German

Sharri German married her high school sweetheart Dave a few months after they graduated from high school in 1968. She married into the fruit business, in 1976 they purchased the family farm in Belding and together they expanded that business through the years to include a side business of a packing line and cider mill operation. She developed a delivery route to grocery stores within a 100 mile radius of the farm. Together with their sons, Thad and Jasen, they made many deliveries around the state to small town produce depts. over the years. After the boys went off to college, Sharri and Dave decided to scale back on that side of the business. It was at that time that she was approached by Bill Braman to apply for the position of MI State Horticultural Society Treasurer. She replaced the retiring treasurer and assumed the duties in Dec. 1989 to present. She was the first female treasurer and the longest serving treasurer of this long standing institution, with a total of 30 years served.

While serving as Treasurer, a need arose in 1996 to have someone take over the Trade Show and Registration of the Hort Society’s annual convention. She was appointed and took on those roles as well, which gave her wonderful connection to all of the Hort Society members and the exhibitors though out the years.

In 2000, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council decided to join forces in a combined show. Sharri submitted her application for the Trade Show Manager position of this new group, The Great Lakes Expo and was accepted. The new show started its 1st year in 2001 in the old Grand Center, as DeVos Place was still under construction. In 2002 the Great Lakes Expo moved into the first section of DeVos Place. It became a pledge she made to the new board that someday she would fill the entire Main Hall, which she did in 2014, with an additional 20 booths set up in the Grand Gallery. The next year a second hall was added for the Farm Market exhibitors, giving them a more elegant surrounding for their displays and much more space open once again in the Main Hall.

Sharri gave her advance notice of retirement five years ago to both organizations, with plans to seek out replacements and help train them for a smooth transition into their roles. With that now accomplished, after 30 years of service to the MI State Hort Society as Treasurer and 19 years as a Trade Show Manager for the industry, she and Dave are going to close this chapter of their lives and move on to their retirement phase, with more time to travel and to catch up on all the projects at home that have been waiting.

2017 - Dr. Eric Hanson

Dr. Eric Hanson grew up in Connecticut and studied biology at Nasson College in Maine.  After a year of planting, pruning, weeding and digging trees at a wholesale nursery (for near minimum wage), he started a MS program at the University of Maine to study production techniques in lowbush blueberries.  This led him to Oregon State University to work on a PhD program involving plum nutrition.  As he was finishing his degree, a terrific job opened for an Assistant Professor in Horticulture at Michigan State University, which he started in 1984. 

The job responsibilities have changed throughout the years, but the primary charge has been in Extension.  Dr. Hanson’s extension work has been primarily with blueberries and other berry crops, with some efforts in tree fruits.  His research interests cross many topics and crops, including fertilizer use, weed management, high tunnel berry production, growth regulator use, variety evaluation, and recently challenges for organic production of blueberries and raspberries.  He has enjoyed the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses in recent years, including Plant Mineral Nutrition, Tree Fruit Culture and Berry Crop Production. 

He particularly values the opportunity to work with the exceptional team of Extension colleagues in fruit, and the many fruit industry leaders he has met while working with the Hort. Society.  

Eric met his wife Katie in 1983 in a Weed Management class at Oregon State University.  Together they have raised three daughters in the Lansing area, and both feel very fortunate for the opportunities and experiences MSU and Michigan have provided. 

Eric is serving his second term (25 years total) as the Educational Coordinator for fruit education programs at the Great Lakes Expo. The Michigan State Horticultural Society appreciates his tireless efforts which have created an exceptional education program. 

For his many years of service as Educational Coordinator, the Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the Dedicated Service Award to Dr. Eric Hanson.

2017 - Allyn Anthony

Allyn Anthony was born and raised on his family’s fruit farm in Keeler Township, south of Hartford, Michigan.  He is a fourth generation grower.  In 1940, his parents, Richard & Dorothy, purchased the twenty acre farm from Richard’s mother.  In the ‘50’s they added another forty acres where they raised small fruits and vegetables.  Richard began planting orchards and raising vegetables in between the rows until the orchards were big enough to produce on their own. 

He graduated from Michigan State University in 1966, receiving his B. A. in Business.  He also met his first wife, Linda, at MSU.  They had two children, Marc and Michelle.  Following college, he and his family moved to the farm to help his father.  Richard passed away suddenly in 1968 and Allyn and Linda purchased the farms from his mother.   They continued to purchase additional farms in the ‘70’s.  They raised 40 acres of asparagus, 40 acres of tart cherries, and approximately 100 acres of apples. 

Along with farming, he has been involved on many Boards and Organizations including; MACMA Asparagus Committee, Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, MACMA Apple Committee, Van Buren County Farm Bureau Board, and the Michigan State Horticultural Society on which he was the President in 1997.  He and Linda received, “Farm Manager of the Year”, award in 1980 from Michigan State University.  He attends Sister Lakes Community Church and has served as Elder, Sunday School Teacher and Youth Leader.    He also served nine years on the Grace Christian School Board as Board Member and Treasurer. 

In 1994, Allyn’s first wife Linda died and in 1995 he and Jeri Drake were married. She taught 4th Grade at Grace Christian School in Watervliet and just retired last May. His son Marc is married to Laura and they have four children; Susan, Linda, Allyn and Rose, and live in Holland.  Michelle and her husband, Tim Hamm, live in Grand Rapids and have a daughter, Amy. Allyn and Jeri continue to live on his home farm of 20 acres, with 10 acres planted to high density apples.  In 2002, Allyn sold 120 acres of his farms. In December of that year, he was hired as the Executive Secretary of the Michigan State Horticultural Society. He enjoys working with other commodity partners on common issues in agriculture.   His passion is to help the Fruit Industry stay viable in the 21st Century.  He is also the Zoning Administrator for Keeler Township and still wears his farmer hat on some days. 

For the past 15 years, Allyn has led the Michigan State Horticultural Society.  In that time, he has helped grow the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo to be the premier show in the Midwest.  He has managed the funding of over $1,000,000 to research projects directly benefiting the Michigan fruit industry.   He has coordinated the awarding of over $100,000 in scholarships to students working toward a career in a fruit related field.  He has used his position to advocate for all Michigan fruit growers.  Michigan fruit farms are improved because of his years of service.

Due to his many years of service on the board and as Executive Secretary, the Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the Dedicated Service Award to Allyn Anthony.

2004 – Barry Brand

The Michigan State Horticultural Society recognizes Barry Brand for his ten years of dedicated service to the Society’s Trust Fund. He worked actively on behalf of our organization, serving on the Trust Committee as a member.

Barry started the Great Lakes Fruit Grower News in 1962 in Sparta, MI. Four years later, he added the Great Lakes Vegetable Growers News. These publications have been a great source of valuable information over the years. He sold the papers in 1994 and he and his wife, Jean, are retired and living in the Sparta and Torch Lake areas. It is with great pleasure that the Michigan State Horticultural Society extend the 2004 Dedicated Service Award to Barry.

2003 – Dr. M. J. Bukovac

The Michigan State Horticultural Society recognizes Martin John Bukovac for his fifteen years of dedicated service to the Society’s Trust Fund. He actively served on behalf of our organization as both Trustee and Chairman of the Trust Committee.

Dr. Bukovac, a lifelong Michigan native, recieved his B.S., M.S. and PhD degrees from Michigan State University and served in the Department of Horticulture for 40 years in research and teaching. He has conducted both applied and basic research that have greatly benefited the fruit industry. The list of awards and achievements is extensive, including his election to the U. S. National Academy of Sciences and to the American Society for Horticultural Science Hall of Fame. His commitment to the fruit industry has extended beyond the lab and orchard to the growth of the MSHS Trust Fund. His insight and dedication have been a great asset to the accomplishment of that goal. It is with great pleasure that the Michigan State Horticultural Society extend the 2003 Dedicated Service Award to Dr. Martin John Bukovac.

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