Local lands Carroll R. Miller Award
Shepherdstown resident Ralph Scorza, a stone fruit breeder and lead scientist at the USDA-ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, was honored by the National Peach Council with the 2011 Carroll R. Miller Award for Outstanding Research related to peaches.
The award was established in memory of the late Carroll R. Miller of Martinsburg. Mr. Miller was a founding member and the first president of the National Peach Council. Presentations of the Miller Award are intended “to encourage and recognize noteworthy research relating to improved marketing and utilization of peaches and/or peach products.”
Ms. Kay Rentzel, managing director of the National Peach Council, presented the award at the USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C., in June. Peach varieties developed by Scorza’s breeding program at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station include “Bounty,” “Crimson Rocket,” “sweet-N-UP,” “truGold,” “Summerfest,” “Flavorburst” and the nectarine variety “earliscarlet.” Plum varieties “bluebyrd” and “Orablue,” named in honor of the late Sen. Robert Byrd and his wife Erma Ora Byrd, were also released from the breeding program. Scorza accepted the award on behalf of the fruit breeding research team at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station.