Out of the Orchard


Gotta Be Heard!

How many years have we said, “Unless you fix immigration, our apples will not be picked,” and how many years have we picked the crop?  How many trips to Washington, D.C., and how many testimonials have been made with the same message: without AgJOBs or a workable ag labor [...]

A Busy Start

As we move into our prime promotion season, some positive things are happening in the world of pears.

We recently finished up a great Produce Marketing Association convention in Atlanta, Georgia. There were over 18,000 people at this show. We have an attractive booth that drew a lot of visitors. [...]

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    The Tree Fruit Industry Attends Produce Marketing Association Meeting in Atlanta

The Tree Fruit Industry Attends Produce Marketing Association Meeting in Atlanta

Keith Hu visits with a Chinese importer at PMA 2011. The team at the Washington State Fruit Commission attended the annual Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit this past week.  This year, over 18,000 produce industry members from over 50 countries attended the exposition.  Likewise, over [...]

Labor reform

Dear Congressional Staff:

I apologize for what might seem to be a form message to you all, but I wanted to reach out to you as soon as I could today to talk about Agricultural Labor in New York State, and the increasing labor shortages that we are experiencing.

Although I [...]

Earthquakes, Hurricane, Tropical Storms and E-Verify!

Holy Catastrophe, Batman! What’s next?

Dealing with Mother Nature in the North East, is certainly something that we just accept and live with, but earthquakes, hurricanes, and topical storms all in a few weeks—I think someone is testing us.  The ground shake that Californians are so use to, did not [...]

U.S. Apple Conference

Last week, I attended the USApple Outlook Conference in Chicago in association with a USApple Board of Directors meeting, of which, I am now the Chairman of the State Advisory Committee. Someone within our ranks deserves a thank you from me. As you know, the primary purpose of attendance [...]

Early Morning Media Blitz

As National Rainier Cherry Day came and went this week, the team here at the Northwest Cherry Growers have been hosting a bevy of food writers and bloggers, who have come from around United States to cover this season’s cherry harvest. This morning I [...]

The Sweet Cherry Business

The 2011 Northwest Cherry season is finally under way … with first harvest starting to trickle in on June 18th … we are finally starting to see some volume build, as we expect to have close to 200,000, 20-pound-equivalent boxes packed today. At the very peak of the season, [...]

Waiting on the 2011 Crop

Up to this point, the theme for the 2011 Northwest Cherry season has been “hurry up and wait.” On that note, I saw some cherries showing slight red in the Columbia Basin last week. In a normal year, we would be harvesting those cherries today. For better or for [...]

Corporate Welfare

On May 20th, I had the pleasure of attending an agricultural roundtable in Spokane orchestrated by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers with Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia in attendance. Most of us would be unaware that Congressman Kingston sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee—the committee that decides how the [...]