New Blueberry Variety Honors UF Alumnus Alto Straughn
Central Florida Ag News|November 2020
WHEN PATRICIO MUÑOZ developed the University of Florida’s newest blueberry variety, he wanted to name the fruit in honor of Alto Straughn, a longtime strong supporter of UF’s blueberry breeding program.
BRAD BUCK

Muñoz decided to call the new variety the “Sentinel.”

“A ‘sentinel’ is a watcher or guardian,” says Muñoz, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticultural sciences. “It is symbolic. We came up with the idea to name the blueberry after Alto because he ‘watched and guarded’ the blueberry breeding program for many years.”

For years, Straughn, an alumnus of the UF/ IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and a former UF/IFAS Extension administrator, owned blueberry farms near Waldo, northeast of the main UF campus in Gainesville.

Now in his 80s, Straughn still meets regularly with the UF/IFAS blueberry breeder.

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