John P. Watson was a pomologist at the New York State Agricultural
Experiment Station in the Department of Horticultural Sciences. His career as a
fruit breeder at the Experiment Station in Geneva began in 1950. He worked with
varieties of grape and plum for New York and the Northeastern United States.
Watson was in charge of the care of seedling vineyards and assisted in planning
and making crosses of potential grape varieties. During his 37 years at the
Station, he was involved in the introduction of 17 varieties of grape,
including Cayuga White, Einset Seedless, and Chardonel and the Iroquois,
Seneca, Oneida, and Mohawk plums. In 1988, a new raspberry introduced by the
Geneva Station was named Watson in his honor. Watson retired as a Senior
Research Support Specialist in 1987, the year he was also named Most
Outstanding Employee at the Experiment Station.