Jan 31, 2012
NARBA awards blackberry breeder

At its annual meeting in January, the North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association (NARBA) presented John R. Clark, University of Arkansas professor of horticulture, with its Distinguished Service Award.

The award especially honors Clark’s work as a breeder of many of the leading blackberry varieties grown today, including new primocane fruiting types that have the potential to greatly increase both the harvest window for blackberries and the geographic range for commercial production.

Blackberry varieties developed by Clark include Ouachita, Natchez, Navajo, Apache, Kiowa, Arapaho, Choctaw and the primocane varieties Prime Jim, Prime Jan and PrimeArk 45. His recent releases of Natchez and Ouachita have been widely planted in the eastern United States, California and around the world, according to NARBA.

Giving the award was grower Nathan Milburn of Milburn Orchards, Elkton, Md., incoming president of NARBA.

“We know John most as a breeder of blackberries and a friend of NARBA,” Milburn said. “He is a frequent contributor to the NARBA newsletter and has been a presenter at many NARBA conferences. He has spoken in support of NARBA’s blackberry research and promotion program initiative, and helps culture the visionary and collaborative attitudes that will be necessary for its success.”

Previous winners of the Distinguished Service Award include grower Ervin Lineberger, Kings Mountain, N.C. (2010), and Marvin Pritts, Cornell University (2011). For more information about NARBA, visit www.raspberryblackberry.com.

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