ONTARIO, Canada – All-America Selections hosted its annual Summer Summit Aug. 12-14 , in Ontario, Canada. Rob L. Johnston Jr., founder and chairman of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, was selected by the AAS Board of Directors to receive the 2013 Breeders’ Cup. The AAS Breeders Cup Award recognizes someone who has had a significant impact in horticulture by breeding stand-out varieties.
Rob’s contribution to the world of horiticulture includes helping produce varieties that in diverse climates have outstanding flavor, disease resistance, and garden performance. Under Rob’s leadership, the Johnny’s breeding team has introduced more than 50 varieties. Seven of these Johnny’s-bred varieties have been honored with the prestigious All-America Selections award.
Johnny’s first All-America Selections winner, ‘Baby Bear’ a pie pumpkin, was awarded in 1993. Other AAS winners followed including Bright Lights multi-colored Swiss chard, Diva cucumber, Sunshine winter squash, Bon Bon winter squash, and Carmen sweet pepper. This year, Johnny’s won its latest AAS award for Jasper, a sweet cherry tomato with late blight resistance.
Angus Mellish, Vice-President of AAS and Seed Manager of Veseys Seeds, praised Rob, noting “I personally have always appreciated my conversations with Rob. As a breeder with unique insights into the characteristics of the varieties that he has developed, especially varieties for the short seasons here in the Northeast. Also as a seedsman and fellow vegetable enthusiast.” Mellish added, “His commitment to varieties with excellent consumer qualities, taste in particular, long involvement with AAS, both as a breeder entering his work to be judged anonymously by a critical group of skilled judges, and as a member of our board demonstrate why he was chosen.” Rob’s history includes serving on the AAS Board of Directors from 2001 – 2010, the last four years as President and Past President.
All-America Selections is an independent, nonprofit organization that trials new varieties alongside two or three similar varieties currently on the market, and then introduces only outstanding garden performers as AAS Winners. Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ research farm is an official trial ground for AAS.
Established in 1973, Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a 100% employee-owned company. Johnny’s mission is to help families, friends, and communities to feed one another by supplying superior seeds, tools, information, and service.