The Connecticut Horticultural Society has presented its highest external award to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) for its focus on solving agricultural, public health and environmental problems.
“Through their research and educational efforts aimed at growers, students and the public at large, CAES employees have touched the lives of thousands of Connecticut residents,” society Awards Chairman Elaine Widmer said. “Their work has made us more skilled, informed and aware as gardeners and as stewards of the environment.”
The society’s Gustav A. L. Mehlquist Award honors prominent Connecticut plantspeople who have advanced the art of gardening or made an extraordinary contribution to horticulture. CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli and Sharon Douglas, plant pathologist and head of the plant disease information office, accepted the award and $500 check at the society’s June 21 program meeting in West Hartford.
Flanked by CHS Awards Chairman Elaine Widmer (left) and CHS President Steve Silk (right), Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Director Louis Magnarelli and scientist Sharon Douglas accept on behalf of CAES the society's 2012 Gustav A. L. Mehlquist Award.
Founded in 1875 with a research-based mission, CAES was the first experiment station in the United States. At laboratories in New Haven, Windsor, Hamden and Griswold, CAES scientists conduct experiments on plants and pests, insects, soil and water quality and provide analysis to state and federal agencies, the horticultural industry and the general public.
Their many duties include testing food for safety, evaluating new fruit and vegetable crops, diagnosing pest problems and inspecting nursery plants before they leave Connecticut. CAES scientists work to protect people’s health by testing ticks, mosquitoes and bed bugs for a variety of diseases. They work to protect the environment by investigating controls for invasive plants, for plant diseases such as boxwood blight and for pests such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle.
“Anyone who has had contact with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and its talented employees will understand just why they are so very deserving of this recognition,” Widmer said.
The Connecticut Horticultural Society is a statewide, mostly volunteer organization dedicated to enhancing the appreciation of gardening. Gustav Mehlquist, for whom the award is named, was a professor of plant breeding at the University of Connecticut. He died in 1999 at age 93.
Check out CAES 2012 Science Day Aug. 1 at Lockwood Farm in Hamden.