California Table Grape Commission Celebrates 100 Years of Table Grape Breeding; Ross Jones Shares
FRESNO, CA - One hundred successful years is certainly cause for celebration if you ask me! The California Table Grape Commission recently gathered with local, regional, and national growers; public and private stakeholders; and officials of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to celebrate 100 years of scientific development in the table grape and raisin sectors.
“The California table grape growing community has partnered with ARS since 1981 to develop new varieties, and since 2001 to protect and commercialize them in the United States and grape growing countries around the world,” said Ross Jones, Commission Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Technology Officer.
Jones spoke on behalf of the Commission and the growers it serves during the 100th anniversary ceremony at San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center in Parlier, California.
While honoring a centennial anniversary of scientific development that resulted in the creation of many new table and raisin grape varieties, Jones also recognized the accomplishments of breeders Dr. David Ramming, Dr. Craig Ledbetter, and their teams.
“They have worked to bring the hopes and dreams of generations of growers to fruition through the development of the kind of new cultivars that changed the trajectory of individual farming operations and the expectations and eating habits of consumers around the world,” he said. “It is not an overstatement to say that this program changed the table grape industry and the world of table grape breeding. The new varieties that have emerged have, without question, helped the table grape farming community be sustainable and competitive.”
According to a press release, USDA-bred table grape varieties accounted for 36 percent of the volume California table grape growers produced in 2022.
Jones also noted that the celebration commemorating the past represents the launch point for the next-level partnership planned between ARS and the table grape growing community through the Commission.
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