How We Grow

2020 July/Aug How We Grow

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AROUND THE WORLD 13 research in 2016 in what she calls the "weird and wonderful" world of finding higher value uses for almond biomass – including hulls, shells and the trees themselves. Fallout from drought-related criticism of the amount of water required to grow an almond – and the realization that the kernel makes up just 30% of almond biomass – led to research on higher value uses for everything grown in the orchard. From growing black soldier fly larvae on almond hulls to use as poultry feed to adding torrified almonds shells to plastic products, the biomass research program Lapsley started has helped turn concepts into commercialized products. "Karen's ABC journey of discovery began by achieving unprecedented milestones in almond human nutrition and later branched out into the fascinating pursuit of improving how we grow almond kernels and biomass, and understanding the biological intricacies of what it is that we grow," said Richard Waycott, president and CEO of the Almond Board. "Karen's contribution to the industry does not just represent scientific achievements that were the integral factor in cementing almonds as the number one nut in the world, but she also set all of us on the incredible endeavor of discovery towards the realization of the almond orchard of the future," Waycott added. Lasting impact Reflecting on Lapsley's many accomplishments, her colleagues continually point to how she leveraged her contacts and curious nature to make a lasting impact on the California almond industry that will benefit generations to come. "Working in a global setting, you cannot do research in every country, or for every issue," said Julie Adams, vice president of Global Technical and Regulatory Affairs at the Almond Board, who has worked with Karen for 20 years. "Still, Karen has an incredible network of experts around the world, which has really helped ABC identify how to leverage research in one country more effectively throughout a region, or to identify the best institutions with which to partner. It's been a great collaboration, and I've definitely had fun working with Karen throughout the years!" The collaboration between the research and marketing programs Lapsley forged with Humble during the heart health days continues today with research supporting marketing efforts around the globe. "The amazing growth the California almond industry has experienced for the past 20 years certainly cannot be attributed to one factor alone. However, without a doubt, Dr. Karen Lapsley played an important role in helping this industry flourish," says Emily Fleischmann, vice president of Global Market Development at ABC. "The vast body of nutrition research completed under her leadership was pivotal in not only changing erroneous perceptions about almonds being unhealthy but also demonstrating the important role almonds can play in helping consumers maintain a healthy lifestyle. And the respect she has garnered within the industry, scientific community, regulatory bodies and staff reflect not only her technical and strategic skill but also her vibrant, curious and sincere personality." Lapsley's curiosity and contacts will pay dividends for the California almond community well beyond her tenure at the Almond Board, and she will continue to take on projects on a contract basis following her retirement. "A consummate intellectual and avid consumer of all knowledge, Karen had the uncanny ability to take the California almond industry to the scientific world through her ever-expanding network of top scientists, research institutes, international media and professional associations," concludes Waycott. "Scientific pursuit and human camaraderie always met at the center stage of Karen's achievements. She leaves this industry in a profoundly better position. Her contributions and accomplishments will produce benefits for the California almond community for generations to come." ALMOND COMMUNITY Continued from page 12 ABC Logo – Lapsley's First Day ABC Logo – Lapsley's Last Day Waycott describes Lapsley as "a consummate intellectual and avid consumer of all knowledge."

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