Eight men and one woman stand in a row, smiling, against a backdrop of trees, lawn and cloud-studded sky
Third from right is UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Louise Ferguson, of the Department of Plant Sciences, with past presidents of the American Society of Horticultural Science. Ferguson was honored for her leadership of the organization, which started shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic and continued into August.

Ferguson honored for service to Horticultural Society

Professional organization has helped her career

Louise Ferguson has been recognized by the American Society of Horticultural Science for her leadership and contributions. The professor of UC Cooperative Extension assumed the presidency during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she nurtured the organization through its first all-virtual annual conference, a subsequent hybrid conference and back to a fully in-person conference.

“ASHS gave me opportunities to share my research, develop collaborations, learn leadership skills, see a different part of the USA every year and make lifelong friends,” said Ferguson, of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences.

From 2019 to 2022, Ferguson served as ASHS president-elect, president and chair of the board of directors. She completed her service this August.

During her presidency, Ferguson designed and developed the ASHS Leadership Academy, inaugurating Class I of six fellows in August 2021. The Leadership Academy focuses on helping participants develop a better personal understanding of themselves while building leadership skills. Class I graduated in August; those graduates selected and inaugurated the members of Class II, which also started in August.

Ferguson also was inducted into the Spencer Beach Club, reserved for ASHS members who have donated more than $10,000 to the society's endowment fund. The fund supports student travel to the annual conferences.

“The society has been very helpful to my career. If you just start giving a little bit, it mounts up over time,” Ferguson said. “Five coffees out a month, $25 a month, that’s all it takes to pay back all ASHS has given you!”

Ferguson has been a member of the Department of Plant Sciences since 1984. She specializes in the cultivation of pistachios, olives, figs, citrus, persimmons and pomegranates.

ASHS is the nation’s major academic professional society dedicated to horticultural science, with 2,500 members. About 1,000 people attend the annual meetings.  

Related Links

The American Society of Horticultural Science is the nation’s top academic organization for horticulture professionals.

The ASHS Leadership Academy helps participants develop a better personal understanding of themselves while building leadership skills. Learn more.

Media Resources

Trina Kleist, tkleist@ucdavis.edu, (530) 601-6846.

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