Portland, OR–The Turfgrass Breeders Association recently honored Dr. Joe Duich with the C. Reed Funk award. Duich is the fourth recipient of the award, intended to honor individuals for their dedication to turfgrass breeding and their impact on education.
“Dr. Joe has dedicated his entire life to improving the state of the turfgrass industry,” said Crystal Fricker, board member of the Turfgrass Breeders Association. “His hard work has positively impacted the lives of countless students, and his careful deliberation has resulted in the development of many new turf varieties.”
Duich spent close to 40 years at Penn State University, educating thousands of students who now work in every aspect – leading researchers, golf course superintendents, business owners – of the turf industry.
While at Penn State, Duich also developed several prominent varieties. Early in his career, in collaboration with Dr. H. Burton Musser, Duich worked on the highly regarded Penncross variety. Later, he developed PennLinks, Penneagle, Seaside II and the A-G series. Duich recently worked with Pure-Seed Testing, Inc., to develop the disease-resistant Penneagle II. Currently, he is helping to develop a new innovation in putting green grasses.
“It is a great honor to be recognized along with Dr. Funk for breeding achievements,” said Duich. “I’m also particularly proud to be involved with the Musser group and awarding scholarships to the next generation of turf leaders.”
Named in honor of Dr. C. Reed Funk, a professor of plant science at Rutgers University, the award was presented at the annual meeting of the Turfgrass Breeders Association. The national organization is comprised of both public and private turf and forage breeders from across the U.S.

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