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Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C.

The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association’s annual fly-in.

Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber of the Washington Apple Commission, along with Mike Wade and Megan Wade of Columbia Fruit Packers, met with several representatives and senators about the future of agriculture, the food supply and the nation’s health.

“It was a productive and insightful experience,” Megan Wade said. “I will walk away having learned a lot from both the lawmakers we met and the other members of the U.S. Apple Association.”

Apple growers and USApple have urged Congress to preserve and expand upon the gains that have been achieved by NAFTA.

Also on the agenda were discussions on the USDA Market Access Program. Since 1986, the MAP has expanded fresh apple exports by nearly 150 percent, according to USApple. The association has urged congress to maintain full funding of MAP.

Also among those visiting the Capitol were Young Apple Leaders, a group of 17 of the industy’s young leaders: Brett Monson of Monson Fruit, Spencer MacQueen of MacQueen Orchards, Jordan Bachman of Sunny Hill Fruit Farm, Clint Edwards of Frosty Ridge Orchards, Hailey Wertenberger of Sage Fruit, Jake Walkenhauer of Larson Fruit, Cristy Warnock of Rainier Fruit, Gunnar Berg of Yakima Fresh, Tabitha Francis of the California Apple Commission, Joel Crist of Crist Bros. Orchards, Ryan Rasch of GreenTree Orchards, Matthew Murphy of Red Jacket Orchards, Jordan Youngquist of Youngquist Farms, and RJ Simons of BelleHarvest Sales.