The Fruit Breeding Program was initiated in 1964 by the late Distinguished Professor Emeritus James N. Moore and has continued under the leadership of John R. Clark since 1997. Dr. Margaret Worthington joined the program in August of 2016.
The program is based at the Fruit Research Station, Clarksville, with additional activity in selection testing at the Southwest Research and Extension Center, Hope.
The overall program focuses on development of fruit cultivars for Arkansas producers of fresh-market fruits. There is a range of objectives across the crops but common characters of improvement are quality, plant adaptation, plant health, and yield.
The program has commercialized approximately 70 genotypes including strawberry, peach, nectarine, ornamental Prunus, table grape, juice grape, blueberry, and blackberry. The use of the cultivars extends well beyond Arkansas however, to other states in the region, across the U.S., and in many countries.