2004 Distinguished Service Award

Larry James Bradford

Prior to his death on January 17, 2004, Larry James Bradford, was a well-known fruit grower in Manistee County. Larry and his wife, Pat raised 6 children and have 17 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Michigan State University.

Larry was dedicated to his family, community, and the fruit industry. He was a member of the First Congregational Church of Onekama, served on the church Board of Trustees, and was church moderator several times. He was also the youngest charter member of the Onekama Lion’s Club.

He was a lifelong outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish, especially in the company of family and friends. He also enjoyed golfing, gardening, woodworking, and cheering for his beloved Michigan State Spartans.

Larry worked for the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the Manistee County 4-H. He served as County Extension Director for Manistee County, for MSU, and later as a District Horticultural and Marketing Agent for the counties of Manistee, Mason, and Oceana. Larry served on numerous boards and commissions over the years, including the Onekama Consolidated Schools Board, Manistee County Fair Board, and the Board of Trustees of West Shore Community College.

Larry was a member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, Michigan State Horticultural Trust Committee, Michigan Cherry Committee, Federal Cherry Industry Advisory Board, and was a past board member and chair of Graceland Fruit, Inc. He also helped organize the Manistee/Benzie Horticulture Association.

This award will be received by Pat, his wife, sons Paul (Maureen) and Edward (Jennifer), and daughter Kelly, for Larry’s many dedicated years of service to our industry and his continued encouragement of studies for students in the agriculture field. It is with great pleasure that the Michigan State Horticultural Society extend the 2004 Distinguished Service Award to his family.

Rodney Winkel 

Rodney Winkel, son of Arden and Louella Winkel, is receiving this year’s Distinguished Service Award for his participation in the fruit industry. Rodney and his wife, Jeannette, have three grown daughters and two grandsons. He graduated from Hartford High School as Salutatorian and continued his education from MSU, receiving his B.S. in Horticulture. He was in various fraternities and has held several offices in the organizations he was involved in, including being the President of the Pomoler Club and recipient of the Gerber Scholarship and H.B. Tukey Award.

From 1969 – 1999, Rodney partnered with his uncle, Alton Wendzel, in Greg Orchards, Inc., a fruit and vegetable farm in Bainbridge Township. Rodney and his wife, Jeanette, purchased and now own and operate it as Grandview Orchards, Inc., producing asparagus, cherries, peaches, apples, squash, and grapes in Bainbridge Township.  They are also in partnership with BarryWinkel and Brad Wendzel in Greg Orchards & Produce, Inc., a fruit packing and sales company in Millburg.

Rodney is very active and has held numerous positions including board member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society and President in 1995. He has served as a member on the MACMA Asparagus Committee, Michigan Processing Apple Committee, Michigan Processing Asparagus Growers Committee, and MACMA Board of Directors. He was Chairman of both the MACMA Apple Study Committee and Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board. He is a member of the Michigan and National Peach Sponsors and IDFTA.

He is currently President of Coloma Co-operative Canning and Vice President of Coloma Frozen Foods and C.I.A.B. Board, the Michigan State Horticultural Society Trust Committee, and SWMREC Advisory Committee. His versatility includes membership in US Apple, Michigan State Horticultural Society, Vegetable Council, and the Michigan Farm Bureau.

Rodney served in the community on the Watervliet Community Hospital Board of Directors, Bainbridge Township Planning Commission, and is a current member of the Watervliet Lions Club.

The Michigan State Horticulture Society is pleased to announce Rodney Winkel with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award for his many contributions to his community and the farming industry.

David Epstein

David Epstein currently is the Michigan State University IPM Specialist in Tree Fruit. Dave has held this position since 2000. He was born and raised in New York. Dave and his wife, Jane, have two daughters and live in Lansing. Their path to Michigan included stops in California and Washington.

For many years, Dave owned a painting business in the San Francisco Bay area in California. In 1992, he decided to pursue his love for agriculture at California StateUniversity, Chico. He completed his B.S. in Crop Science in 1996. His desire to work closely with growers led him to pursue a Master’s degree in Entomology atWashington State University. His research entailed on-farm studies of the impact of different pest management programs on natural enemies of apple pests.

Dave received his M.S. in 1998, and less than a year later was recruited by Michigan State University to coordinate the Michigan Apple Integrated Pest Management Implementation Project. He interacted with over 100 apple growers over the course of the project and worked hard to ensure the project was a success.

As IPM Specialist in Tree Fruit, Dave has been involved in numerous research projects, including mating disruption for control of fruit pests, new monitoring systems for plum curculio and fruit flies, and biological controls of codling moth. Other projects have involved the timing and efficacy of new insecticide chemistries and orchard ground floor management. He has also helped develop educational materials that foster IPM adoption, including an apple scouting DVD, IPM pocket guides for stone fruit and apples, and a tart cherry pest guide calendar. The IPM pocket guides, along with two other publications submitted by MSU, received an Entomology Educational Project Award in 2004 from the Board Certified Entomologists of Mid America.

Dave's energy, skills, and knowledge are well appreciated by the industry and his professional colleagues and it is with great pride that we acknowledge him with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award.

More Information



7087 East Napier Ave.
Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022

Phone (269) 252-5461