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Fall 2012
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Outstanding Alumni Awards

Susan Brown

Susan BrownSusan Brown is an outstanding scientist with a passion for breeding apples. She oversees the apple breeding program at Cornell—one of the largest fruit breeding programs in the world—and serves as the Herman M. Cohn Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and associate chair of the Department of Horticulture. Based at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., her breeding program targets unique flavors, exceptional crispness, enhanced storage and shelf life, and resistance to disease and insect pests.

Brown works extensively with growers throughout the state to test promising new selections that show the potential for commercialization. She has released four apples (Fortune, Autumncrisp, New York 1 and New York 2) and was the co-inventor of ten sweet cherries and one tart cherry. A recent hybrid was only 12 years from cross to commercialization, a breakneck pace for a perennial fruit crop. In 2010, Brown ushered through the first licensing agreement between Cornell and a newly formed grower cooperative, the New York State Apple Growers (NYAG) LLC, which will streamline the commercialization process and increase CALS’ return on investment.

Brown has received the Club Horticulture Commendation from the Garden Club of America, the Massachusetts Horticulture Society’s Jackson Dawson Award, and the New York Farm Award.

Brown received a B.S. from the University of Connecticut in 1978, an M.S. from Rutgers University in 1980, and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Davis in 1984. Brown resides in Geneva, N.Y., with her husband, Marty, and their son, Michael. Their daughter, Lauren ’14, is currently studying biological and environmental engineering at Cornell.