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Jay Brunner, director of  Washington State University's Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center on Jan. 29, 2014.  (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Jay Brunner, director of Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center on Jan. 29, 2014. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Dr. Jay Brunner, who has played a key role in the transition to softer pest management programs in tree fruits over the past three decades, has been named Apple Citizen of the Year by the Washington Apple Blossom Festival.

For the past 33 years, Brunner has worked as an entomologist at Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, where he has focused on Integrated Pest Management, specializing in development of sampling methods and action thresholds, predictive models, biological control, mating disruption, and insecticidal control of tree fruit pests. He has also served as director of the center for the past 13 years.

Brunner said the approach he brought to his research position at WSU was based on his philosophy of mankind’s responsibility as a steward of natural resources and accountability to society.

He is currently working part-time as director of the center and will retire in August.

Brunner will ride in the Stemilt Growers Grand Parade on May 2 during the Apple Blossom Festival.

Read about Brunner’s career: “A Humble Leader,” from our March 1, 2014 issue.