Gibbs and Rood Receive Distinguished Service to Agriculture and Natural Resources Awards at ANR Wee

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Donald Gibbs (left) and Paul Rood were honored with the DIstinguished Service to Agriculture and Natural Resources Awards. (view larger image)

Two Michigan agriculture leaders were honored March 4 with MSU Distinguished Service to Agriculture and Natural Resources awards during the annual Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Week luncheon.

Lou Anna Simon, MSU president, and Jeffrey Armstrong, dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, presented the awards.

Donald Gibbs, of Onondaga, Mich., and Paul J. Rood, Jr., of Covert, Mich., were recognized for their successful agribusiness enterprises and their commitment to leadership in community, state and national activities.

Gibbs owns Gibbs Berry Farm, a 284-acre operation that grows strawberries for U-pick buyers and farmers’ markets, as well as asparagus, apples, blackberries and black raspberries. Gibbs also supplies raspberries and strawberries to Sandhill Crane Winery in Jackson, Mich.

He is a staunch supporter of the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and MSU Extension and has participated in MSU field research as a grower cooperator for more than 20 years. Gibbs, who plans to retire this year, has provided numerous plots for horticulture, plant pathology and entomology research, taking crop losses in stride in the service of advancing knowledge.

Rood owns Paul Rood Orchards, a centennial farm specializing in tree fruits. A major producer of pears in the eastern United States, Rood also produces and markets plums and apples. He has supported the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station and MSU Extension in local educational and research programs and as an advocate for industry support.

Through his agribusiness operation, he has participated in dozens of field research trials. Rood was appointed to the Michigan Plum Advisory Board by Gov. Granholm in 2005 and is a member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, the Michigan Pear Research

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