Sklarczyk to be honored with ANR Distinguished Service Award during ANR Week
posted on March 2, 2016 11:52am
Don Sklarczyk, a potato seed farmer for his professional life, will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University during the ANR Week Luncheon on March 8.
Sklarczyk is one of three individuals who will be recognized with the Distinguished Service Award, given to individuals or partners who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources industries, and who possess high standards of integrity and character and positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the CANR. Recipients demonstrate a commitment to MSU and the CANR by continuing outstanding levels of leadership and volunteerism at the state, national or international level.
Throughout Sklarczyk’s professional career he ran a potato farm and potato seed greenhouse operation — and he changed an industry’s practices. After Sklarczyk took over his father’s farm, he found that the best way to reduce asymptomatic bacteria and latent virus in seed potatoes was to utilize the technology of tissue culture.
In 2003, Sklarczyk Seed Farm (SSF) started to focus on the tissue culture lab and hydroponic seed potato production. Since then, the SSF has grown from producing 1.5 million seed potatoes in the greenhouse to more than 6 million in 2015.
Sklarczyk has been recognized with the National Seed Potato Grower of the Year award in 1997, the Michigan Farm Bureau Ecology of Leadership Award and Frito Lay Supplier of the Year in 2008, the Service Award from the Potato Growers of Michigan in 2006, the EPA/National Potato Council Environmental Stewardship Award in 1999 and many more.
The other Distinguished Service Award recipients are:
• William Moritz
• John Bakker
Tickets for the luncheon are on sale for $30 and are available at www.anrweek.anr.msu.edu.
The luncheon will be hosted by the CANR, MSUAgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the CANRAlumni Association, with support from Consumers Energy and DTE Energy.