Todd Perkins Receives Industry Achievement Award
Recently, Syngenta Flowers Senior Breeder Todd Perkins received the 2023 Medal of Excellence Industry Achievement Award.
The Industry Achievement Award recognizes the lifetime accomplishments of individuals and organizations that have devoted their life’s work to the mission of advancing plant varieties and the floriculture industry.
Todd has been with Syngenta Flowers for over 35 years, but gardening has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember. His love for plant breeding developed at university, and one of his first breeding breakthroughs was with Violas.
When Todd started at Goldsmith Seeds in 1988, no viola hybrids were on the market. Once Todd and a few other breeders started making crosses, they saw how hybrids could change the market. Hybrid violas had the performance and vigor to establish themselves in a wide range of environments, were fast to flower, and made the perfect bedding plant. This led to the development of the popular Rocky series. Soon other breeding companies came to the same realization, and hybrid breeding became the gold standard for violas.
His significant breeding accomplishments include AAS Flower Award Winners Cleome Sparkler Blush, Zinnia Magellan Coral, and Zinnia Zowie! Yellow Flame. He has also received Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence awards for Aquilegia Origami, Rudbeckia Tiger Eye Gold, and Interspecific Zinnia Zydeco. In 2010 Todd was awarded the prestigious All-America Selections Breeders’ Cup Award. Todd has been an AAS Judge since 2002 and serves on the AAS Comparison Committee.
Todd is proud to say he has the best job in the world and encourages young people to consider a career in breeding. “If you love puzzles, are inquisitive by nature, and love flowers, then this is the job for you.” He encourages students to “Learn the science of breeding, have a passion for horticulture, and have a terrific familiarity with what’s being used and sold so that when you begin your career, you have an idea where opportunities live.”
Todd is working with up-and-coming talents in the breeding world to share his expertise and passion for advancing and producing game-changing genetics. In recent years Todd has worked on Viola cornuta, Viola wittrockiana, Zinnia marylandica, Zinnia elegans, Antirrhinum majus, Rudbeckia hirta, Cleome hassleriana, and Aquilegia caerulea. He has more surprises to share with us and is training talented new breeders like Mary Lewis, and Jeanine Janssen to continue the development of his creations.
Congratulations to Todd on receiving the industry achievement award! Syngenta Flowers is grateful to have you on board, and we thank you for your dedicated passion for breeding some of the best plant genetics out there.