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:

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 [...]

My Apple Cup Runneth Over

● 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., public communications firm, Watson/Mulhern, which is now on a monthly retainer by the Northwest Horticultural Council for crisis communications assistance. Mr. Green, originally from [...]

A Peach of a Part

● 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. In the Pacific Northwest’s delegation, only one member voted no: the anti-World Trade Organization Peter DeFazio (D) of Oregon. The measure, supported by our [...]

Post Election

● At a news conference this week, President Barack Obama expressed optimism about moving comprehensive immigration legislation next year. Notably, in this context, he included foreign agricultural labor as one of the points needing Congressional attention: “I think that the agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making [...]

The Election

● 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 of Harry Reid (D/Nevada), while the House of Representatives will continue to be led by Speaker John Boehner (R/Ohio). One change in party leadership [...]


● The Organic Trade Association is boosting the idea of a multicommodity federal promotion and research program for organics. While a lengthy process is required by USDA before any such national program is authorized and made operational, the OTA’s initiative—which would require the collection of mandatory assessments on the [...]

Are the Apples Rotten?

● November 6 will slam shut the door to the political future of many of those now running for office, while others will step lightly across election day’s threshold to new or renewed public service. Some national races of importance to agriculture that I will be watching: Iowa’s 4th, [...]

Futile and Weak

●  One of my more enjoyable tasks is serving on the board of advisors to the Center for Produce Safety, which is located at the University of California/Davis. A fellow CPS advisor, Brian Silbermann, president of the Produce Marketing Association, was among those honored this month by the College [...]

On the Hill in D.C.

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 Hill and the Fresh Festival.

United Fresh briefed all attendees on some of the most pressing topics and concerns to the produce industry in the [...]