2018 Distinguished Service Awards

Joshua Wunsch

Prior to his death on April 26, 2018 Josh Wunsch was a well-known third generation cherry and apple farmer from Peninsula Township. Josh was born in Traverse City and graduated from University High School in Ann Arbor. He attained a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Trinity College in Connecticut and continued his education at MSU’s Department of Horticulture. The Wunsch farm is in good hands with Josh’s son, Isaiah, daughter Adele and wife Barb continuing to farm the land.

Josh was relentless when it came to Michigan agriculture. He was involved in many agriculture organizations in leadership roles that impacted producers in Michigan and across the country. He served on the Michigan Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Michigan Processing Apple Growers Division of M.A.C.M.A. and the Grand Traverse Fruit Growers Council. He also served on Great Lakes United, the Grand Traverse Conservation District and the Michigan Association of Conservation Districts. He was a board member of Shoreline Fruit Inc., Sleeping Bear Co-op, Traverse City Cherry, and Cherrco Inc., a tart cherry cooperative.

He was instrumental in working with other Old Mission Peninsula residents to establish the first-ever township level Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program funded by a millage vote. Because of the vote in 1994, and with the help of the American Farmland Trust, the PDR citizens committee, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy and other groups, hundreds of acres of Old Mission Peninsula farmland were snatched from the grips of urban sprawl. Some of Josh’s development rights were included in that historic program.

In 2012 Josh was the recipient of the Michigan Processing Apple Grower Distinguished Service Award. He received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the Leelanau Horticulture Society. He also received posthumously the Distinguished Service Award for Michigan Agriculture from Michigan Farm Bureau.

The Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Josh Wunsch.

Bernard Zandstra

Bernard Zandstra graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, with a Bachelor degree in Political Science.  After 2 years of military service, he attended the University of Hawaii, and earned a PhD degrees in Horticulture (Weed Science) in 1976.  He was hired at MSU in 1977 as a Vegetable Extension Specialist.  After several years as a vegetable production specialist, he transitioned into vegetable weed control work and added fruit, ornamental, and Christmas tree weed control during the following years. 

Bernie has concentrated his research efforts on developing season-long integrated weed control programs for all crops.  As new herbicides reach the market, they are tested to find potential uses in tree fruit, small fruit, and other crops.  Bernie has worked with IR-4 (USDA Minor Use Registrations), chemical companies, EPA, and MDARD to obtain many new federal, state, and local herbicide registrations for Michigan fruit growers.  As Field Research Director for the IR-4 Center at MSU, Bernie conducts residue and performance trials each year for fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, nematicides, and growth regulators on fruits and vegetables.  The data generated is used to support new minor-use pesticide registrations at EPA. 

In addition to registration projects, Bernie conducts replicated research and demonstration trials in various parts of Michigan each year to gain additional data and to educate growers in good weed control practices. 

Bernie met and married Patricia Erwin at MSU.  Pat grew up in Novi and South Lyon in Oakland County on the family farm, Erwin Orchards.  Bernie and Pat have two daughters, Sarah and Rebecca, both MSU graduates, and a son Jacob, a graduate of Ferris State University. 

The Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present the 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Bernie Zandstra.

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