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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:

Drugged Media

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●  Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released two of its proposed regulations implementing FSMA, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They deal with

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Potomac Precipice

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● The fiscal cliff legislation, H.R. 8, that passed the House last night, did so by a vote of 257 to 167. The Pacific Northwest’s

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Activist Agenda

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● Over the past few years there has been a minor boom in publishing books critical of conventional systems of agricultural production. I try to

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A Glimpse of Washington State’s Future

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In the third week of July 2012, at the Washington Apple Commission’s board of directors meeting, I decided to have a little fun. Around the

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Lame Duck

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● The 112th Congress continues to lumber towards its eventual close, with a raft of policy decisions still awaiting resolution. Most of my agricultural lobbyist

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My Apple Cup Runneth Over

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● Randy Green, a former Deputy Undersecretary of USDA and chief of staff to the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, soon will be joining a Washington, D.C.,

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A Peach of a Part

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● A bill to improve trade relations with Russia, H.R. 6156, was passed by the House of Representatives last Friday by a vote of 365-43.

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Post Election

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● At a news conference this week, President Barack Obama expressed optimism about moving comprehensive immigration legislation next year. Notably, in this context, he included

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The Election

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● It’s over.  President Obama will have four more years to fashion policy and lead the nation. The Senate will remain under the majority leadership

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Lincoln

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● The Organic Trade Association is boosting the idea of a multicommodity federal promotion and research program for organics. While a lengthy process is required

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Are the Apples Rotten?

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● November 6 will slam shut the door to the political future of many of those now running for office, while others will step lightly

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Futile and Weak

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●  One of my more enjoyable tasks is serving on the board of advisors to the Center for Produce Safety, which is located at the

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On the Hill in D.C.

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Last week, I joined 500 produce industry professionals in Washington, D.C., for the United Fresh Public Policy Conference. Two highlights were the march on Capitol

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Will We Miss It?

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With 300,000,000 middle-class consumers—and growing—China is Washington State’s fourth-largest export market and has been identified as the number-two growth market for Washington apples in the

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Jenkins Hill XI

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●  This Sunday I plan to travel across country to attend the Washington Public Policy Conference, an annual event of the United Fresh Produce Association.

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Northwest Cherry 2012 Season at a Glance

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The final sweet cherry shipments from the Pacific Northwest left the industry this weekend, bringing an end to a challenging, but record-breaking season.  Here at

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Jenkins Hill X

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This month, Ellen Terpstra was named the new chief executive officer of the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council. A good friend of mine

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Apple Anarchy

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● Four of life’s misfits have been charged in Georgia with murder and other crimes. All army personnel (one from Cashmere, Washington), the four allegedly

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Off and Running

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As you are harvesting pears OFF your trees, we are RUNNING to get our marketing programs in place to help ensure a good, positive start

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Politics

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● For some reason known only to cheeseheads, Wisconsin has been at the center of a number of national political stories this year, including the

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Don’t Count Your Chickens…

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On the surface, what a year 2012 could be to a Washington State apple grower!  If you have the good fortune to have avoided the

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Washington State Primary

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●  Tuesday’s primary in Washington clarified who will be running in the general election for the state’s ten House of Representatives seats in the 113th

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Farm Bill V

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●  Moving a Farm Bill through Congress this year has proved difficult. Why?  Because it represents huge expenditures of taxpayer dollars (mostly on social feeding

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Insane Coils of Red Tape

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● As a result of this year’s redistricting, commercial tree fruit growers will have reason to have constituent contact with four out of the ten

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PMA/United

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● The merger talks between the Produce Market Association and the United Fresh Produce Association have failed. It appears that the break point was over

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Farm Bill IV

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● The House Committee on Agriculture approved by a bipartisan vote of 35-11 its version of the Farm Bill late Wednesday night. H.R. 6083 now

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The Supremes

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● The Farm Bill is set to be marked-up by the House Agriculture Committee on July 13. Controversy has been sparked by both regional crop

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Farm Bill III

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● The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, passed last Thursday by a vote of 64 to 35. Attention now pivots to

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Mexico

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●   President Obama acted last Friday to help many young people—those without the correct residency papers, but otherwise clean records—to  stay in our country and

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Farm Bill II

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●  The U.S. Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S. 3240, now has over 220 floor amendments floating about it. Some of these are straight-forward

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Farm Bill

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● The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill, S.3240, today cleared its first procedural hurdle by easily surviving a cloture vote (90-8). Debate will now

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A Slow Boat to China

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The annual meeting of the Western Governors’ Association will be held at the Cascade Mountain Range resort of Suncadia, Washington, on June 9-12.  Governor Christine

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Primaries

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● Oregon: No surprises on Tuesday in terms of federal elections. All five members of the House of Representatives from Oregon appear to hold safe

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Jenkins Hill IX

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●  Senator Richard Lugar (R/Indiana) lost his primary reelection race on Tuesday. The senator, age 80, who has capably served in the U.S. Senate for

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Criminal Apples

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● The Leonardo Academy, located in Madison, Wisconsin, released on April 19 its draft document for a “National Sustainable Agriculture Standard/LEO-4000.”   This latest attempt to

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Stone Fruit Marketing in Canada

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I was able to attend the annual Canadian Produce Marketing Association conference through this past weekend in Calgary, Canada.

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Unite

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●  The United Fresh Produce Association sent out its ballot for 2012 officers and board members today. This brought to mind whether United might still

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Cool Weather Becomes Grower Friendly

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Over the last few weeks, New York Apple growers have cursed the cold weather, but are now praising the cooler days and nights. We experienced

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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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