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Eleven months to the day after a wildfire destroyed a packing house in central Washington, one of the Northwest’s oldest grower cooperatives reopened to cherry packing there with a new line that is bigger and more sophisticated than the one it lost.
That speaks to the speed at which new technologies
Devon’s family started out raising cattle in the Yakima Valley, then moved into hops, tree fruit and grapes.
James manages the wine grape crops on the family’s estate in the White Bluffs region of central Washington. He works alongside his brother John, and parents, Bob and Crista Whitelatch.
family background / Neil studied business and worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and maritime companies around the nation before returning to join his father, Tom Garrison, on the family farm about eight years ago.
grower / Sunnyside, Washington
age / 32
crops / Cherries, wine and juice grapes, row
Eladio, a second-generation farmer from the upper Yakima Valley, worked alongside his father, Miguel Gonzalez, in orchards and now manages several test orchards in Naches, Washington.
After originally pursuing a degree in history and law, Nick pursued a more hands-on career through Washington State University’s viticulture program.
Joe returned to the 1,500-acre family farm after working in finance and manages domestic and export sales and marketing for the company.
While not exactly new anywhere, mechanical hedging is seeing a youthful surge on both sides of the U.S. as a way for fruit growers to improve fruit quality and produce a more consistent product.
Indeed, hedgers also reduce labor costs, but more importantly, they may improve canopy management, boost yields and
Roger is a sixth-generation grower of about 180 acres of tree fruit.
Oregon cherry growers will continue to recover from a 2014 freeze by pruning to encourage healthy lower-branch structure in their orchards while balancing their need for fruit development.
“Now it’s just back to managing those canopies,” said Dr. Todd Einhorn, research horticulturist at Oregon State University in Hood River.
Einhorn and Gipp
Catherine is a fourth-generation farmer. Her grandfather, Mamoru Kiyokawa, started growing tree fruit on the farm. Catherine works closely with her father, Randy, and older brother Cameron.
Brett Valicoff is a fourth-generation grower who returned to the farm to help plan and build a modern apple packing line in Wapato, Washington.
Andy Smith, from Edwards Apple Orchard, talks with Good Fruit Grower about how his family grew the business from a small farm market to one of the most popular farm destinations in the Midwest.
Four months out of Wenatchee Valley College, Manuel talks with Good Fruit Grower about why he pursued a career in farming and orchard management.