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Out of the Orchard

Agency directors from Washington, Oregon, Michigan, and New York give their take on the world of tree fruit. View blog

The Wind Machine

Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry. View blog

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All Good Fruit Grower blog posts:

Jenkins Hill VIII

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● Biotechnology continues to be a contentious issue. Of note is a concentrated effort afoot by the Center for Food Safety and other advocacy organizations

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Jenkins Hill VII

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● Wednesday, January 4, was the day set for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to publish draft rules on produce safety. It still hasn’t

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Freeze warnings!

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Tonight could be the night we talk about all year.

Hard freeze warnings are forecast across New York State for tonight, with predicted lows in the

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Jenkins Hill VI

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● Last Tuesday, Mitt Romney announced his agriculture advisory committee, a group co-chaired by Senator Mike Johanns, a former USDA secretary, and Adam Putman, a

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March Madness

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As an avid NCCA basketball fan who lives for March each year, the Madness is not only about my team.This year, it is about the

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Lurking market issues

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The 2011-2012 Washington State apple season has been a warm welcome to the financial stability of our industry.  Movement has been excellent and price trends

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Jenkins Hill V

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●  Norm Dicks  will not be serving in the 113th Congress. On March 2, Mr. Dicks (D/Washington) announced he will not run for reelection this

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Jenkins Hill IV

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● A report to Congress was issue in February by the Food and Drug Administration on its foreign office program. Some interesting facts can be

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Jenkins Hill 3

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● The United Fresh Produce Association held town hall meetings in both Wenatchee and Yakima this week. Two of its staff, Robert Guenther, senior vice

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Jenkins Hill II

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● A flurry of meetings will be held in Washington, D.C., the week of March 12. I will travel back then to attend gatherings of

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NY Congressman Introduces Bill

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This week, Congressman Bill Owens, who represents the largest McIntosh growing region in the world, introduced H.R. 3914 that will exempt apples shipped in bulk

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D.C. meeting yields common message

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Last week, apple folks from Washington State to Vermont met in Washington, D.C., to attend the U.S. Apple Association’s Public Affairs meeting. This committee convenes

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Jenkins Hill

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● After two trips to Washington, D.C., in January, I am even more convinced that between a tight political calendar, partisan political acrimony, and financial

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Good Point

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Arsenic in apple juice. Apples, pears, and cherries on the Environmental Working Group’s latest “Dirty Dozen List.” Canned fruit contaminated with BPA, a chemical in

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Sometimes Politics

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In all businesses, there are days where politics come into play and understanding the political playing field is as

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Senator Cantwell

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● Yesterday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (Democrat, Washington) visited Yakima, with one of her stops being at the Yakima Valley SunDome for the 2012 Ag

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New Districts

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● Reapportionment for federal elections based on the 2010 census will have its greatest impact in the Pacific Northwest within Washington State. Neither Idaho nor

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Apple Pie

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● The Food Safety Modernization Act calls for the Food and Drug Administration to issue a fresh produce safety rule by January 4, 2012. We

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FDA

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●  Last week, I spent time in Wenatchee with Dr. Jim Gorny and Bob Keeney, both from Washington, D.C., and  speakers at the annual meeting

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Uncool

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● Brianne Miller has jumped to the other side of Capitol Hill and is currently employed by Senator James E. Risch (R/Idaho). The former legislative

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A Blog about a Blog

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Today I am blogging about another blog called the Pear Dish which lives on the Pear Bureau’s website www.usapears.org. The

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Casino Jack and the JSC

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● The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC), co-chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D/Washington) and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R/Texas), has admitted failure this afternoon.

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Nothing Stays the Same

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Soon it will be 10 years since the duties and responsibilities of the Washington Apple Commission were revised to concentrate on international promotions only.  In

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Gotta Be Heard!

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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? 

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A Busy Start

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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

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Occupy Washington, D.C.

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● After arriving in the nation’s capital on Monday, the 17th, for a meeting later in the week of the Executive Committee of the National

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The Tree Fruit Industry Attends Produce Marketing Association Meeting in Atlanta

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Keith Hu visits with a Chinese importer at PMA 2011. The team at the Washington State Fruit Commission attended the annual

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No Such Thing as a Bad Apple

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● Over the past week, the Northwest Horticultural Council worked at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in arranging a mid-day

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Labor reform

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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

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Washington City IX

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The current multistate outbreak of listeria linked to whole cantaloupes grown on a farm in Colorado will certainly serve to accelerate FDA’s current work on

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Earthquakes, Hurricane, Tropical Storms and E-Verify!

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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,

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Verify

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Chairman Lamar Smith (R/Texas) of the House Judiciary Committee insists that a mandatory employer E-Verify program is necessary to better control the number of undocumented

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Unsustainable

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In our work with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, we occasionally help out when FAS arranges official tours to the Pacific Northwest. As an example, tonight

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U.S. Apple Conference

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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

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Washington City VII

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● A primary will be held in Oregon on November 8, followed by a special election next January 31, for the position in the House

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Washington City VI

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● Senator Patty Murray (D/Washington) is one of twelve members of Congress to be appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC). She

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Who’s Gone

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● U.S. Representative David Wu (D/Oregon) today announced that he will resign. Sexual misconduct had been alleged against the Portland-area politician, who was first elected

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Early Morning Media Blitz

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As National Rainier Cherry Day came and went this week, the team here at the Northwest Cherry Growers have been hosting

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Washington City V

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● Brian Grunenfelder has been named a deputy assistant USTR for agricultural affairs. He leaves his current trade policy job at USDA/Foreign Agricultural Service effective

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Washington City IV

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● There have been glimmerings of activity this week on the long-stagnate immigration front. The Agricultural Coalition for Immigration Reform (ACIR) held a conference call

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The Sweet Cherry Business

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The 2011 Northwest Cherry season is finally under way … with first harvest starting to trickle in on June 18th … we are finally starting

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Reports

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One part of my job is to read published reports that might have an influence on our tree fruit industry.  Two examples from this month:

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‘Tain’t So

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● The Environmental Working Group, a national nonprofit that detests the use of agricultural chemicals, has once again announced its annual “Dirty Dozen” list for

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The German Problem

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● With 30 people dead and about 3,000 ill, the German food safety incident is a major event. Beyond those directly affected in morgues and

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Waiting on the 2011 Crop

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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

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Commerce

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I normally do not spend much work—or leisure—time thinking about the U.S. Department of Commerce. The past several days, have been the exception. While in

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Corporate Welfare

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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

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Washington City III

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● Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of Arizona to pass a law that would punish employers for knowingly hiring undocumented workers. Under

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Flawed Politicians

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● Rifling through cable channels last night I came across the surrealistic sight of CNN host Eliot Spitzer intently discussing the political ramifications of a

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The Big Muddy

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● President Obama yesterday was in El Paso, Texas, to give a major address on immigration: he called on Congress to pass a comprehensive law

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