The Rutgers Varieties are a product of the diligent and extraordinary career work of the breeder, Dr. Nicholi Vorsa, and his colleagues.
Dr. Vorsa became the director of the Philip E. Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research in 1991, a position he holds to this day. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, and went on to University of Wisconsin to receive a Masters in 1978 in breeding and genetics.
He later returned to Rutgers where he acquired a Doctorate, also in breeding and genetics, in 1985. He started the cranberry breeding program that same year.
By 1991, his research had earned Dr. Vorsa the position of full professorship within Rutgers’ Department of Plant Biology. In addition, Dr. Vorsa possesses numerous patents concerning health attributive qualities of the cranberry, including urinary tract infection prevention and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
The goal of Dr. Vorsa’s breeding program has been to “identify superior parents of diverse genetic background, to produce superior progeny with improved traits.” It was within this aspirational framework that enhanced yield, fruit quality, and genetic diversity of the cranberry were to be achieved.