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Ross CourtneyRoss Courtney is an associate editor for Good Fruit Grower, writing articles and taking photos for the print magazine and website. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Lutheran University.

Courtney worked as a writer, photographer and video producer for the Yakima Herald-Republic starting in 2000, covering agriculture, education and local government. He was the author of the Herald-Republic‘s popular Crop Lines blog.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a communications specialist for a Pasco, Washington, company representing agricultural groups. Before that, he covered sports for the Tri-City Herald.

Courtney joined the magazine in 2015. He lives in Prosser with his family.

Follow the author — Contact: 509-930-8798 or Email

My Recent Articles

  • Mike Omeg, Grower of the Year

Two Oregon cherry growers join forces

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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Two longtime cherry producers in the Dalles, Oregon, have merged to form an affiliation that

  • Bee delivery

Hive hauling worries

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

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The federal government has granted truckers who haul live animals, including honeybees destined for tree

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How to give away fruit

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Donations are appreciated at food banks, but some homework and forethought are advised first.

  • 2015 Gala harvest

Global crop sizes, political climate put US apple producers at competitive advantage in export game

December 13th, 2017|0 Comments

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If the 2016-2017 apple export season was decent — and it was — this season

  • 2017 Hort Show

Labor, pests and disease: Hort show, Day 3 wrap

December 6th, 2017|0 Comments

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The Washington State Tree Fruit Association annual meeting wrapped up Wednesday with two sessions on

  • TJ5D6784

Tree fruit industry bestows honors at Washington awards banquet

December 5th, 2017|0 Comments

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Twenty-four years ago, Victor Bueno helped start the Spanish sessions of the Washington State Tree

  • TJ5D6581

Playing to win: Day 2 Hort show, morning wrap

December 5th, 2017|0 Comments

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There’s a difference between playing to win and playing to not lose, and Oregon State

  • Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 5.52.15 PM

Varieties and Cosmic Crisp: Day 1, Hort Show afternoon wrap

December 4th, 2017|0 Comments

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Specialized varieties, specifically Cosmic Crisp, headlined the discussion during the afternoon session of the Hort

  • TJ5D6457

Anticipation and Flexibility: Day 1, Hort Show morning wrap

December 4th, 2017|0 Comments

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Plan ahead, but stay nimble, Michael Swanson, an agricultural economist with Wells Fargo, told several

  • Mike Omeg, Grower of the Year

An Oregon trailblazer: 2017 Grower of the year

November 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Curiosity, sharing and innovation drive Mike Omeg, a fifth-generation cherry grower.

  • OSU Soils Workshop

A grower with industry influence: 2017 Grower of the year

November 30th, 2017|1 Comment

Grower of the Year Mike Omeg has an impressive list of industry contributions and accomplishments.

  • Mike Omeg, Grower of the Year

Omeginsanity — ‘I was a little bit shocked’: 2017 Grower of the year

November 30th, 2017|0 Comments

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Mike Omeg does not know who started the jokes about his massive new trellises, but

  • bees

Bee haulers get delay in complying with new federal rules

November 28th, 2017|0 Comments

The federal government has granted truckers who haul live animals, including honeybees destined for tree fruit pollination duty, a 90-day reprieve from enforcement of electronic logging device requirements.

  • WSTFA annual meeting

Motivation, worker protection among topics for Spanish sessions: Annual Meeting Preview

November 28th, 2017|0 Comments

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A motivational speech and details about updated federal Worker Protection Standards are among topics slated

  • Head

Gökhan Öztürk’s fruitful journey

November 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Turkish fruit breeder visits Washington to gain insights into fruit breeding at WSU.

  • Tamara Cherry Variety

Big hopes for a big cherry

November 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Large-growing Tamara showing early promise, but it’ll be a few seasons before the verdict is in.

  • Rob Blakey joins WSU

Blakey joins Stemilt

November 16th, 2017|0 Comments

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Rob Blakey has left his Washington State University endowed position as the tree fruit extension

  • Oregon State University logo

Oregon State looking for cherry growers to develop pest plan

November 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Oregon State University is looking for sweet cherry growers in the Northwest to help develop a long-term Integrated Pest Management plan.

  • Veterans In WIne

Veterans see future in WSU wine program

November 9th, 2017|0 Comments

There’s something about all the hands-on work that attracted Nick French, a former Air Force mechanic, to the wine industry. He likes getting his hands a little dirty and working with equipment.

  • Sprouts Farmers Market logo

Sprouts Farmers Market named Pear Retailer of the Year

October 24th, 2017|2 Comments

For the second straight year, the pear industry has granted the Pear Retailer of the Year honor to a Phoenix-based natural foods store.

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Underwood Fruit plans to rebuild after fire

October 20th, 2017|2 Comments

The federal government is investigating a fire that destroyed a pear packing facility in Bingen, Washington, while the company is rerouting its fruit and some of its employees to other Northwest packers.

  • Stemilt Logo

Stemilt will use virtual reality for tours at PMA show

October 17th, 2017|0 Comments

Those attending the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit will get a glimpse of Stemilt Growers without having to leave the conference.

  • MissionOrchards-3214rc-1

Independent grower not afraid to try different techniques

October 17th, 2017|0 Comments

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On White Trail Road near Quincy, Washington, just past a development of small homes and

  • IFTA-PrecisionCrop-8084rc-2

Thinking ahead about thinning – 2017 IFTA

October 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Precision crop management skills help Michigan growers cut back on expensive hand thinning.

  • Goodlatte-2017

House bill would revamp H-2A program

October 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

Northwest tree fruit industry groups tentatively praised Monday’s effort by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, to revamp the nation’s agricultural guest worker program.

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Following the high-density leaders – 2017 IFTA

October 3rd, 2017|0 Comments

Michigan’s early adopters of high-density systems share tips for multiple leaders and cropping techniques.

  • The Seal of the State of Washington

Justices hear arguments on farmworker piece-rate wages

September 14th, 2017|0 Comments

Washington State Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Sept. 14 at the Temple of Justice in Olympia on the question of whether employers should be mandated to pay their piece-rate workers a separate hourly rate for work not directly connected to production, such as training or waiting for equipment.

  • Interpera 10th World Pear Conference

Packers improve, impress with pears

September 13th, 2017|0 Comments

Wenatchee pear packers show Interpera group new technology on their lines.

  • Tractor work

Piece-rate details back in court

September 6th, 2017|0 Comments

The legal vagaries of piece-rate compensation will continue Sept. 14 when Washington’s Supreme Court hears arguments about whether growers should have to pay their workers separately for meetings, traveling to and from orchards and other forms of “unproductive time.”

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Arctic armor: Methods of combating frost

September 6th, 2017|0 Comments

New frost prevention investments by Michigan growers paid off during 2017 bloom-time frost.