October 4, 2013

Almond Industry Leader Will Be Honored

Robert “Bob” Curtis, an almond industry leader whose efforts have helped university research and extension programs improve production practices and environmental stewardship, will be honored Oct. 11 with an “Award of Distinction” from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES).

Bob Curtis Will be Honored

The award is presented annually during a College Celebration event to those whose contributions and achievements enhance the college’s ability to provide cutting-edge research, top-notch education and innovative outreach. Curtis, an executive with the Almond Board of California, is being recognized as a “Friend of the College” for his work as as a liaison between the industry and the agricultural research community. Six other people—faculty, staff, alumni, and administrators—will also receive the award.

“College Celebration is the premier community event for our college and its many supporters who stand with us through thick and thin,” said Mary Delany, interim dean for CA&ES. “This year, in particular, we have much to celebrate, including the 25th anniversary of a harvest-season gathering that has come to mean so much to us. The Award of Distinction recipients have made, and continue to make, remarkable contributions that bring great inspiration, honor, and distinction to the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”

Yields of California almonds have doubled over the last 20 years through advancements in horticultural practices. Production research has contributed to the growth and success of California almonds, which now encompass 835,000 acres, rank second in California farm gate value, and are the nation’s largest horticultural export. Research funded by the Almond Board has also helped improve fertilizer management and elevate food safety and quality.

Curtis’ impact has been felt beyond the almond industry, as well. He chaired the California Commodity Committee (2007–2012), leading an effort to develop a strategy for promoting and funding commodity research and extension. He was a member of a national specialty crop research team that outlined strategic research, extension, and education priorities for the 2008 Farm Bill, which led to grant funding in areas such as nutrient budgeting, irrigation management, precision agriculture, rootstock evaluation, and honey bee health.

Curtis serves on many UC Davis advisory groups, including the CA&ES Dean’s Advisory Council. He has written or contributed to more than 200 articles, booklets, and manuals on crop production practices, pest management, postharvest handling, and food safety and has given presentations to a wide range of domestic and international audiences.

“As a commodity representative, Bob has worked tirelessly to the betterment of industry-university partnerships that are at the heart of the CA&ES mission,” said plant sciences professor Patrick Brown. “He has made many very significant contributions to the programs of faculty and extension personnel throughout the UC system and above all he has been a true friend of the college.”

To learn more about College Celebration and the other Award of Distinction recipients, please visit

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