Jul 16, 2019
Arkansas crops specialist McWhirt honored at international horticulture symposium

An Arkansas Extension horticulture specialist has been honored by the International Society for Horticultural Science with its 2019 Young Minds Award for best presentation.

Amanda McWhirt, Extension horticulture crops specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, earned the honor during the society’s Rubus and Ribes Symposium in June, where she presented on “Effects of Rotating Arm Trellis on First Year Blackberry Yield, Fruit Quality and Pest Pressure.”

McWhirt has been studying this trellising system since 2017 (See: http://bit.ly/2XE59V0) at the Fruit Research Station in Clarksville. Rubus Ribes are the genera for blackberries, raspberries, currants and gooseberries and the symposium was for researchers in those fruits to present their work.

“It is an honor to receive this award from ISHS at the 2019 Rubus and Ribes Symposium,” McWhirt said. “This was my second time attending the symposium and my first time attending as a faculty member. I very highly value the global perspective the symposium provides and the opportunities to meet with other researchers working on blackberry research.

“I look forward to sharing some of the things I learned with our growers, and am happy to have represented the work being done here in Arkansas,” she said.

McWhirt joined the Division of Agriculture in 2016.

“I am proud of the accomplishments that Dr. McWhirt has achieved in her short time with the Department of Horticulture as an extension specialist,” said Wayne Mackay, head of the horticulture department for both the Division of Agriculture and the Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences. “She is one the best in the country and this award reinforces the recognition that she has already received. Her cutting edge program in horticulture in Arkansas are already making a difference to Arkansas horticulture clientele.”

To learn more about the fruit research being done by the Division of Agriculture, visit www.aaes.uark.eduor www.uaex.edu.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mary Hightower, U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Amanda McWhirt, Extension horticulture crops specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, at the 2019 Horticulture Field Day, held at the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope, Arkansas. Photo: University of Arkansas

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