Dr. Kevin Folta received the 2019 Veritas Award at the American Agri-Women National Convention.
Folta is a professor of horticulture at the University of Florida where he has worked to sequence the strawberry genome and researches compounds that affect strawberry flavoring.
The AAW Veritas award is the highest award given by AAW annually to a non-member. It is presented to someone who has given public witness to “the pursuit of truth” in accordance with the principles enunciated in the AAW statement of philosophy, “The Call to Power.”
A respected expert, he trains scientists, farmers, and those in natural resources how to communicate about agricultural innovations. During his presentation to the convention attendees, Folta encouraged the group to seek common ground in conversations with those who may be cautious or skeptical of genetic engineering or other agricultural tools.
He writes for popular media and is a regular guest on podcasts including Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria, the Joe Rogan Experience, as well as running his own weekly podcast, Talking Biotech.
Folta’s previous recognitions include the 2016 CAST Borlaug Award in Agricultural Communications, a 2007 HHMI Distinguished Mentor of Undergraduate Research, the 2008 NSF CAREER Award, a 2009 with the Northern Illinois University “LA&S Top 50 Graduates”, the 2010 UFRF Research Professor Award, and in 2013 was one of two faculty recognized with the UF Postdoctoral Mentoring Award. Most recently, he received the 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists Excellence in Public Service Award.