Mar 16, 2011
03:01 PMOut of the Orchard
US Apple growers visit D.C.
US Apple growers visit DC.
Last week, over 80 US Apple growers stormed the congressional and senate offices of their respective states to talk “apples" and issues that confront our industry. Of course, immigration was a top priority, along with International trade, Mexican trucking issue, research, crop protection, farm bill, MAP Funding, and finally China. USApple Association, once again did an excellent job coordinating the event and bringing the issues to the Hill. Congressman Bill Owens of New York and Congressman Doc Hastings of Washington both addressed the group.
New York Apple Pioneer Passes
Fritz Wafler, 83, passed away on March 11, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer. Fritz was an icon in the New York apple industry, as well as a respected grower and horticulturist in the national apple industry. Everyone who knew Fritz, and most growers did, knew him for his great knowledge of apple farming and for his entrepreneurial qualities that helped build his family farm and nursery business from scratch. Fritz immigrated from Switzerland in 1952, and as the story goes, with just a few dollars in his pockets. His love was growing apples and he spent a great deal of time deciding where would be the best location to start an apple orchard.
After a lengthy search, he selected Western New York and bought a farm in 1957. Wafler Farms, situated just a few miles from Lake Ontario, today is a cutting-edge and progressive operation that has partnered with other growers to build CA storages and packing facilities. Wafler nurseries is a leading apple nursery in the Northeast, known for high quality and high standards. Both were characteristics taught by Fritz. During his lifetime, Fritz continued to search for new and better methods to grow apple. He never lost his love for his home country of Switzerland and his European heritage. He led a number of fruit grower tours to Europe to learn more about growing apples. Not only did these tours provide education to the growers, it was often said, that Fritz knew how to throw a great tour. A good time was had. Fritz leaves his wife, Lois, three children, and a number of grandchildren, many friends and admirers, and a tremendous legacy behind. The industry has lost a good friend.