March 2022 - 39

Doug Ohlemeier joins
Great American Media
Veteran agriculture writer and
editor Doug Ohlemeier has joined
Great American Media Services
(GAMS) as an assistant editor.
Ohlemeier assumes that role for
Fruit Growers News, Vegetable
Growers New
and Organic
a recent stint
as a freelance
business writer
for several
the Grower of the Year Award from
the State Horticultural Association
of Pennsylvania.
For 30 years, Kuntz has been
the orchard and farm market
manager at Masonic Village in
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. He
has been credited with bringing
the farm market back from near
closure. They remodeled and
enlarged the market is now a
booming business with a café and
ice cream shop.
agricultural outlets, Ohlemeier
served as an editor, writer and
in sales marketing for Phoenix
Media Network/Produce Business
magazine. He also was a writer,
editor and digital content creator
for Farm Journal Media/Vance
Publishing, which included The
Ohlemeier, who received a
bachelor's degree from Oklahoma
State University and a master's
degree from the University of
Kansas, had worked as a marketing
writer and public relations specialist
for the Kansas Wheat Commission.
" We are pleased to welcome
Doug to our talented team
of professional specialty crop
journalists and media professionals, "
said Gary Pullano, editor of Fruit
Growers News, Vegetable Growers
News and Organic Grower.
" Doug has built a reputation as
a respected, knowledgeable and
talented member of the media,
covering many facets of the
agriculture industry. "
Ohlemeier can be reached at
616-520-2162 or dohlemeier@
The addition of Ohlemeier comes
as Stephen Kloosterman, who has
served as an assistant editor, and
then, associate editor, of Fruit
Growers News and Vegetable
Growers News, as well as being the
first managing editor for Organic
Grower, started by Great American
Media Services in winter 2020,
transitions to a new role within the
Kloosterman started March 1 as
managing editor of Greenhouse
Product News (GPN), part of
GAMS's horticultural division.
Kuntz gets Pennsylvania
Grower of the Year
Orchardist Tad Kuntz has received
Early in the pandemic, when
residents of the Masonic Village
retirement home were not allowed
to leave the campus, Kuntz
developed a
program to
deliver fruits,
vegetables and
other groceries
to them.
served on the
board of
directors from
2012 to 2020, including two years
as president. He now serves as the
chairman of the group's Extension
Kuntz worked on his family's
Adams County orchard while
growing up. He joined Masonic
Village after graduating from
Delaware Valley College, now a
Kuntz married Heidi Boyd at the
farm market in 2018. He has two
daughters and a stepdaughter.
Michigan commission
hears funding requests
Michigan State University (MSU)
researchers gave presentations on
their 2022 funding requests to the
Michigan Tree Fruit Commission
(MTFC) board of directors at the
MTFC meeting on Feb. 23.
The MTFC was established by a
producer referendum to collect an
assessment on Michigan's apples,
cherries, peaches and plums to
support tree fruit research.
The UPL Golden Apple Award is
presented annually to a recipient
who has made outstanding
contributions to the Ontario apple
Ferri and his wife Karen have
been growing apples at T&K Ferri
Orchards near Clarksburg since
2005, when development pressure
forced them to relocate from the
family apple farm at Huttonville,
just outside of Toronto.
Four funding requests came from
MSU faculty members.
Hannah Burrack, chair of the
Department of Entomology,
asked for funding to support the
research work of the new fruit
entomologist soon to be hired by
Courtney Hollender, assistant
professor in the Department
Ferri has spent his life continuing
a family tradition that dates back
to the 1930s - growing some
of the most flavorful apples in
Ontario while constantly searching
for and adopting better growing
" Tom is a very passionate grower
with a commitment to perfection.
He applies a systematic and
logical approach in the orchard
and there's a reason for each
task that he performs to produce
great apples, " said fellow grower
Cathy McKay, chair of the Ontario
Apple Growers. " It's an honor to
recognize him as the Golden Apple
Award winner this year. "
A graduate of the University of
Guelph, Ferri's orchard was the
first in Ontario to have trickle
of Horticulture, explained her
funding request for peach and
plum plantings to study plant
Greg Lang, professor in the
Department of Horticulture,
explained his funding request for
bird netting units to protect his
sweet cherry research trials.
George Sundin, professor in the
Department of Plant, Soil and
Microbial Sciences, explained his
request for irrigation materials to
establish a research orchard for
bacterial canker and his request
for trees for greenhouse studies of
fire blight and cherry leaf spot.
Several funding requests also
came from MSU's five, off-campus,
research stations.
Georgian Bay, Ontario,
area grower gets award
A third-generation apple
grower from the Georgian Bay
area is this year's UPL Golden
Apple Award winner. The award
was presented to Tom Ferri on
Feb. 22 at the Ontario Fruit and
Vegetable Growers' Association
online annual meeting.
irrigation, the first to plant Mutsu
apples and was home to the
province's first pick-your-own
operation. He was also the first
Ontario grower to plant a super
spindle orchard with a tree density
of 2,000 trees per acre. Today, his
orchard holds 2,500 to 2,800 trees
per acre.
Ferri often hosts on-farm
educational tours and local food
events, is a willing spokesman for
the apple industry and regularly
donates fresh apples to local food
Vineyard owner
Beneduce Outstanding
Young Farmer
Mike Beneduce Jr., a Hunterdon
County vineyard and winery
owner, has been chosen as New
Jersey's 2022 Outstanding Young
Farmer by the New Jersey State
Board of Agriculture.
and his wife,
Corey, were
also one of
eight finalists
for the 2022
Young Farmer
Award and
the National
Young Farmer
Congress in Hilton Head, South
Carolina. They were recognized
at the recent New Jersey State
Agricultural Convention Banquet.
" Mike Beneduce has developed
his vineyard and winery into a
destination location both locally
and nationally, " said New Jersey
Secretary of Agriculture Douglas
H. Fisher. " His education and
background have allowed him
to become a premium example
of how a younger person in
agriculture can reach great
heights. His vision and dedication
are examples of the assets that
many of our younger farmers
possess that will keep New Jersey
agriculture at the forefront. "
The Beneduces own and operate
Beneduce Vineyards in Pittstown,
which they have expanded to
include 77 acres, including over 22
acres of grapes planted on a hillside
at the top of the property, and
transformed a large storage barn
into a 12,000-square-foot winery.
" It's humbling to receive this
award and be on the same list as
so many others who are respected
for what they're doing in the
agricultural industry across the
country, " Beneduce said.
FGN | MARCH 2022 | 39

March 2022

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