RFA Ethanol Podcast

ASTA Honors Past, Present Industry Leaders

Cindy Zimmerman

ASTA chair Brad May (left) with award winners Richard Denhart, Rick Turner, Ed Podleckis, Rajat Pruthi, and Ron Walcott

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) honored past and present seed industry leaders during its Leadership Summit this week in Indianapolis. In addition to the time-honored Lifetime Honorary Member and Distinguished Service Awards, this year’s slate of honors included the all-new Heritage Award and the Seed Science Foundation’s Excellence in Science Award.

ASTA’s Lifetime Honorary Member Award was presented to two worthy individuals this year – Rick Turner with BASF and Richard Denhart of the Illinois Seed Trade Association. In his 45-year career in agriculture, Turner served posts in domestic and international markets focusing on diverse seed portfolios, seed treatments and crop protection products. Denhart served in various leadership positions, including with Illinois Crop Improvement, Illinois Foundation Seeds, Illinois Seed Trade Association; as the first Chair of the ASTA State Government Affairs Working Group and the first State Association Representative to the ASTA Board of Directors.

The ASTA Distinguished Service Award honors Dr. Edward Podleckis, USDA-APHIS. For over 20 years, he worked as a risk analyst and risk manager developing APHIS plant pest risk analysis programs and policies, providing analytical support to inform agency import and policy decisions and plants for planting import policy.

The Roger Krueger Memorial Scholarship, established in 2008 by the American Seed Research Foundation, was presented to Rajat Pruthi, University of Georgia.

The first-ever Seed Science Foundation Excellence in Science Award was bestowed upon Dr. Ron Walcott, University of Georgia. Dr. Walcott has been a friend and resource for the vegetable seed industry for over 20 years through his research that focuses on diseases, especially those that can be seed borne, and of commercially important vegetables. He has been a major source of technical knowledge on vegetable pathogens to ASTA and the seed industry.

The inaugural Heritage Award, created to preserve and build seed industry history, recognized five individuals who have significantly impacted the seed industry and ASTA. The winners are: W. Atlee Burpee, W. Atlee Burpee & Co.; Dr. Harry Collins, Delta and Pine Land Company (D&PL); Dr. Owen Newlin, Pioneer Hi-Bred International; Dr. Norman Borlaug, CIMMYT; and Jerry Peterson, Peterson Seed Co.

ASTA, Seed