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Donald N. Maynard

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Donald N. Maynard

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Donald N. Maynard

The Citizen Ambassador Program was initiated in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded “People to People.” His vast perspective as a military and governmental leader led him to believe that individual citizens reaching out in friendship to the people of other nations could make a significant contribution to world understanding. From 14–28 Aug. 1998, ASHS took part in the “People-to People Mission to China.” Our delegation was composed of six ASHS Members and two guests. Delegates were from Canada and Brazil and the United States. After meeting in Los Angeles for a final briefing, the delegation departed for Hong Kong, where we immediately boarded a flight to Beijing. Our China experience began in Beijing, then on to Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. All of these locations are in the densely populated eastern portion of China. (China has approximately the same area as the United States, but it has 1.25 billion people compared to only 270 million in the U.S.) Our time at each location was about equally divided between professional and cultural activities. Our Chinese horticultural colleagues were enthusiastic and well-trained. As in the United States, the quality of the facilities and the equipment varied somewhat among locations. Operating funds, never sufficient for research and maintenance of facilities, commonly were supplemented by sale of horticultural products.

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Donald N. Maynard

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Donald N. Maynard

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Donald N. Maynard

Vegetable cultivar evaluations are conducted seasonally by research and extension faculty at several locations throughout the state of Florida. Results are summarized and published in a Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Circular, Vegetable Variety Evaluation in Florida and used as a basis for extension recommendations published in Vegetable Production Guide for Florida, an industry-sponsored publication. The selection of vegetables to be evaluated depends on local needs and the evaluator's interest. Until recently, this has provided fairly good coverage of the principle vegetables grown in the state. However, the future of this program as currently structured may be in doubt because of changes in assignments of current faculty, new faculty with assignments and interests that differ from their predecessors, and reduced administrative recognition for cultivar evaluation. It is likely that county extension faculty and professional staff will have a greater role in cultivar evaluation as university faculty input is reduced. Increasing the scope of vegetable cultivar evaluation by university faculty to include adaptation of new crops and specialty vegetables adds a new dimension to traditional trials. Some of these vegetables have not benefitted from selection or breeding so there is opportunity for crop improvement as a further extension of vegetable cultivar evaluation.

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Donald N. Maynard