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Professor to Receive State Award For Plum

FEB 10, 2006--University of Wisconsin-River Falls Professor Brian R. Smith will receive the first of a new prestigious innovation award in Wisconsin and discuss his new plum cultivar that resulted in the award on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. in the meeting room of the River Falls Public Library.

Smith, who is also a Wisconsin Extension commercial fruit specialist, will present "Fruit Research at UW-River Falls: The 'Lydecker' Plum." Following the talk, he will be presented the inaugural 2005 WiSys Technology Foundation's Innovation Scholar Award from Maliyakal John of the WiSys Technology Foundation. WiSys is a nonprofit organization designated by the UW-System to patent the discoveries made at the campuses and promote their commercialization.

During his presentation, Smith will outline the development of the Lydecker plum from original hybridization to release. He will also discuss along with efforts aimed at Midwest commercialization of the plum. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Smith's plum variety, named after the late UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann M. Lydecker yields fruit as large and tasty as any California-grown plum. More importantly, it also withstands subzero temperatures and is highly productive, producing completely round, purple to black plums.

He received the WiSys award for the development of the plum that stands up to Wisconsin's harsh winters. He created the new cultivar by crossing a plum variety adapted to Wisconsin's frigid winters with a Japanese dessert plum.

Smith will also discuss his professional activities including teaching and extension programs as well as research in strawberry and raspberry breeding.



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