Dr. Greg Lang receives 2023 Distinguished Service Award from Michigan State Horticultural Society

Dr. Greg Lang receives 2023 Distinguished Service Award from Michigan State Horticultural Society

Dr. Greg Lang
Dr. Greg Lang

Dr. Greg Lang, has been given 2023 Distinguished Service Award by the Michigan State Horticultural Society. Please read the statement and video provided by the Michigan State Horticultural Society below.




The Michigan State Horticultural Society is pleased to present its 2023 Distinguished Service Award to Professor Gregory Alan Lang. 

Greg Lang was born in Ohio where his great-uncle grew apples and grandfather grew field crops and raised livestock, but Greg grew up in Georgia, interested in gardening, houseplants, and landscaping. He studied ornamental horticulture at the University of Georgia.  During his junior year in a national student exchange program that took him to California and Montana, he saw large-scale tree fruit production and changed his major to pomology. This led him to the University of California-Davis where he earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees studying plant physiology in tree fruits. He was hired in 1986 at Louisiana State University as their only fruit crops faculty, so he taught the fruit production class and focused his research on blueberry production and peach dormancy (since spring frosts often damaged the crop). LSU is also where he met his future wife, Suzanne, hired in 1987 as an assistant professor of ornamental horticulture physiology.

Soon after the birth of their daughter Kate in 1993, they moved to Washington State University where Greg was an associate professor in tree fruits, specializing in sweet cherries and other stone fruits, and Suzanne was an adjunct professor in horticultural physiology. In 1999, MSU came calling with two faculty position openings for Greg, so back to the Midwest they came.

At MSU, Greg’s job responsibilities have focused on various aspects of physiological tree fruit research and extension, mostly involving sweet and tart cherries, but also apple rootstocks, Honeycrisp bitter pit, and production system innovations for peaches, plums, and apricots. In recent years he has also taught a senior-level class that draws students from all over campus, Exploring Wines and Vines, which has among the highest enrollments in the College.

Over the past 20 years, he has pioneered various orchard innovations that have made consistent production of high value, high quality, labor intensive fresh market sweet cherries feasible, including fruiting wall orchard training systems that facilitate not only greater labor efficiency but also future mechanization and precision management innovations like canopy mapping, smart sprayers, and robotics, as well as orchard covering systems to improve crop quality, consistency, and tree health. Greg is frequently invited to speak on his work around the world, providing invaluable opportunities to bring additional new ideas back to Michigan growers.

Greg has served as one of the organizational leaders of the Great Lakes Fruit Workers since 2007, as the Educational Coordinator for the Great Lakes Expo’s fruit education programs since 2019, and as the Education Director of the International Fruit Tree Association since 2020. He credits working with his exceptional MSU Fruit Extension and Research colleagues, and Michigan’s many incomparable fruit industry leaders, as the driving forces for his thoroughly enjoyable career.  

More information, from Fruit Growers News, can be found here: Bill Erwin, Greg Lang honored for Michigan fruit legacies - Fruit Growers News


Did you find this article useful?

Other Articles in this Series