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 


All Good Fruit Grower blog posts:

Optimistic about pears

Recently, I had the pleasure to address a large number of growers at North Central Washington Pear Day in Wenatchee. The title of my talk was “Why I am optimistic about pears,” and I examined some of the trends that lead me to believe the future of the pear [...]


●  A powerful court decision handed down this past Friday involving Noel Canning and the National Labor Relations Board made page-one headlines in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal over the weekend. The United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia Circuit) decided that an NLRB [...]

Plan ahead

This week, I had the pleasure of giving presentations at apple meetings in Chelan and Wenatchee focusing on the good fortune Washington apple growers are enjoying this season.
Crop failures in New York, Michigan, and Ontario, Canada, have provided unprecedented domestic demand and price support. The 2012-13 Washington apple [...]

Potomac Views

● The Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agricultural Service of the House Agriculture Committee is now led by Austin Scott (R/Georgia). This week, the ranking member of the minority party for it was named: Kurt Schrader (D/Oregon). First-term Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D/Washington) also has joined this subcommittee, [...]

Hudson Valley Apple Pie

● If the apple industry of Washington state would like to address some of its trade access problems with the People’s Republic of China, now is not a bad time. The United States ambassador to China is Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington, while Washington’s new governor, Jay [...]

Drugged Media

●  Last Friday, the Food and Drug Administration released two of its proposed regulations implementing FSMA, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They deal with the safety of produce and food facilities. Setting aside the merits of the proposals, what was interesting to me was the choreographed release. FDA [...]

Potomac Precipice

● 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 delegation was in favor by 11 to 5, with “No” votes being cast by four Democrats (Blumenauer/Oregon, DeFazio/Oregon, Schrader/Oregon, Smith/Washington) and one Republican (Labrador/Idaho).

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Activist Agenda

● Over the past few years there has been a minor boom in publishing books critical of conventional systems of agricultural production. I try to read some of these efforts, as they do influence the opinions of urban consumers and often have an impact on public policy debates. Bet [...]

A Glimpse of Washington State’s Future

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 conference room table were some of the brightest in our industry who dedicate their lives to their business and our industry. I figured they [...]

Lame Duck

● The 112th Congress continues to lumber towards its eventual close, with a raft of policy decisions still awaiting resolution. Most of my agricultural lobbyist friends in Washington, D.C., are deep into the mode of writing weekly or daily updates to their respective clients with variations on the recurrent [...]