The California Citrus Quality Council presented its highest honor, the distinguished service award to a very special recipient. The 2003 Albert G. Salter Memorial Award went to Charles W. Coggins Jr. at the council's annual meeting Jan. 30 at the Visalia Convention Center. This annual award for distinguished service recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to and achievements in the citrus industry.

Coggins has served as chairman of the board of directors for the California Citrus Quality Council since 1993. and through his leadership and scientific research, Coggins has forever changed the citrus industry. As an industry pioneer, he recognized the potential advances with plant growth regulators (PGRs), beginning with gibberellic acid (GA) and continuing with programs to retain 2,4-D. He also made a major contribution to research on napthaleneacetic acid (NAA) that resulted in its acceptance as a fruit thinning agent for citrus.

Coggins has authored more than 100 technical publications, several of which have won awards, and has authored nearly 50 semi-technical publications that have proved to be invaluable tools for citrus growers worldwide.

Coggins, professor emeritus of plant physiology, officially retired from the University of California, Riverside in 1994 and is still very active at UCR. During his 37 years at the University, he served as chairman of the UC Riverside Department of Plant Sciences and helped create the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. He has also served 15 years as executive secretary/treasurer for the International Society of Citriculture.

Coggins has been the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership, and agricultural excellence and research accomplishments.