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AAS Honors Industry Contributors

Chris Beytes & Jennifer Zurko

Congratulations to Hiroshi Sakata, President of Sakata Seed Corporation, for winning All-America Selections’ coveted Medallion of Honor. He’s the third member of that venerable Japanese breeding company to receive the award, including founder Takeo Sakata and former Senior Managing Director Shunichiro Suda.

The prestigious AAS Medallion of Honor is typically presented to one individual who’s given a career of dedication to the advancement of the horticulture and gardening industries.

Born in 1952 in Kamakura City, Japan, Mr. Sakata graduated from Keio University in 1974, specializing in economics. Upon graduation, he joined the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank, Ltd. (now Mizuho Bank, Ltd.). After a seven-year stint in the world of finance, he joined the family business in 1981, rising to the rank of president in 2007. He’s also an adviser and former chairman of the Japan Seed Trade Association, president of the Kanagawa Seed Cooperative Association and chairman of the Japan Home Garden Association.

Also, congratulations to Patty Buskirk for winning the 2022 Breeder’s Cup Award. Patty is the managing partner for Seeds by Design, Terra Organics and Aurora Seed, where she oversees the day-to-day administration, research, development, marketing and production activities. Patty started in the seed industry in 1981 as a squash breeder assistant with Steenseed in Chico, California. After college, she accepted a job with Northrup King in Gilroy, California, as an assistant brassica breeder. In 1987, she moved back home to Northern California to work for NPI/Western Hybrid Seed. With her partners, she started Seeds by Design in 1994. Terra Organics was established in 1999 with the goal to offer a variety of organic seed. Just a few of the AAS Winners that have come from Patty are the Chef’s Choice series of tomatoes, Blue Prince Pumpkin, Mama Mia Giallo Pepper, Black Hawk Ornamental Pepper, Pepitas Pumpkin, Warrior Onion, Super Moon Pumpkin, Mexican Sunrise and Mexican Sunset peppers, and more.

Both awards were presented at the AAS Summer Summit held September 7 in Vancouver, Canada. GT

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