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WSU’s Tim Smith honored for 40 years of distinguished service

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Washington State University extension specialist Tim Smith has received the inaugural Washington Tree Fruit Distinguished Service Award for his significant contributions to the industry during his 40 years with Extension.

Three former WSU extension agents who

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Distinguished Service Award: Harold Thome

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Harold Thome is old enough to remember his dad packing apples into barrels for shipment to Chicago 200 miles away.

But remembering doesn’t make him nostalgic for the old days.

Thome, 82, has a thoroughly modern apple

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Latino Leadership Award 2014: José Ramirez

His philosophy has always been that you can’t wait for things to happen around you. You have to make them happen.

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2014 Silver Apple Award goes to Jerry Haak

Jerry Haak had a passion for growing fruit and finding better ways to do it. He used cutting-edge techniques not only to increase his yields, but to produce higher quality fruit and use labor more efficiently.

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New tree fruit association will expand services

The new Washington Tree Fruit Association plans to expand its services to the industry, says President Jon DeVaney, who will be busy working on legislative affairs in the state capital of Olympia in the coming session.

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Growers’ advocate ends 42-year career

During his four decades working at the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, Kirk Mayer saw the Washington apple crop grow from 25 million boxes to 140 million and availability of labor become an increasing concern.

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Sean Gilbert, Young Grower from Yakima, Washington

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age / 34
crops / Apples, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and wine grapes
title / General manager
business / Gilbert Orchards
education / Pomona College

What’s been your greatest challenge?

I think the toughest years for me personally were the

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Daniel Symms, 1961-2014

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Daniel Thomas Symms, great-grandson of the founder of Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell, Idaho, died from cancer on October 7. He was 52.

Symms grew up on the Symms Fruit Ranch until his father, Steven Symms,

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Alex Chinchiolo, Young Grower from Ripon, California

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age / 28
crops / Apples, cherries
title / Partner, farm manager
business / River Bend Orchards
education / Degree in fruit science, California Polytechnic State University

Q:  What was your path to farming?
I think it was from all the

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John Daniel Gebbers, 1930 – 2014

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John “Danny” Gebbers, 84, patriarch of the Gebbers family that has been growing apples near Brewster for more than 100 years, died October 21 of complications from a fall last summer during the region’s forest

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Michael L. Miller, 1947 – 2014

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Mike Miller, 67, known for his infectious grin, had deep roots in Washington’s Yakima Valley agriculture.

His grandfather helped to bring irrigation water to land northeast of the Yakima River and his father was one of

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Guy William “Bill” Powers, 1926 – 2014

Washington wine industry legend Bill Powers, known for his innovative, organic grape growing and winemaking, died September 23. He was 88.

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Jessica & Sara Ecker, Young Growers from Trempealeau, Wisconsin

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ages / (Jess, on left in photo) 33, (Sara, on right in photo) 30
crops / Apples, blueberries, and peaches
education / Jessica graduated from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in architecture and Sara graduated from University of

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Tastefully written: Author takes us on a tour of apples

Apples of Uncommon Character is aimed at general readers, but growers too will enjoy Jacobsen’s comments about the apple’s history and enduring appeal.

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Retirements reduce Cornell’s tall spindle apple team

Stephen Hoying, Alison DeMarree both joined program in 1982.

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From Paris to pears

Once a top Dior sales rep, Gordy Sato tops the pools with his pears.

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Kevin & Mark Stennes, Young Growers from Pateros, Washington

Stennes twins talk about growing organics tree fruit operation.

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First Bite: Meet the new guy

Jared Johnson joins Good Fruit Grower

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B-be-bee beard photo wins ag communications award

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University of California communications specialist Kathy Keatley Garvey won the top feature award from the international Association for Communication Excellence in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Life and Human Sciences with this photo of visiting scientist

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Cleveringa joins Research Commission

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Jeff Cleveringa, head of research and development for Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, Washington, has been appointed to the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s board of directors to represent the Washington Apple Commission.

He succeeds

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David Alvarez, Young Grower from Prosser, Washington

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age / 28
crops / Organic cherries and apples
title / Farm manager
business / Adolfo Alvarez Farm David works with his father, Adolfo, and his uncles.
education / Graduated from Prosser High School and learned from his family

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UC hires apiculturist

Industry People in the news

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Carter retires from Hort Council

Industry people in the news

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Jon DeVaney will head new tree fruit association

Maintaining services for growers will be a priority after merger of four tree fruit organizations.

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Summing up a career

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Dr. Scott Johnson worked for 31 years as an extension specialist for the University of California, Davis. He was based at the Kearney Agricultural Center, a research station in the heart of San Joaquin Valley’s

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Nancy Born takes off her Good Fruit Grower hat after 30 years of service

First Bite: Nancy Born takes off her Good Fruit Grower hat.

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Peter Martini, Young Grower from Escalon, California

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age / 37
crops / Peaches and almonds
title / Farm manager
business / Martini Farms, LLC. Peter is a third-generation farmer taking over the business from his parents. Peter’s grandparents started farming in Escalon after immigrating from

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Stone fruit farm stay

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Mike and Nori Naylor educate urban folks about agriculture and stone fruit one family at a time. At their farm stay, located in the heart of California’s stone fruit growing region, guests can pick their

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Organic Pioneer

Mike Naylor has grown organic stone fruit for 30 years.

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New board member joins Washington Wine Industry Foundation

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Sherri Swingle joins the Washington Wine Industry Foundation board of directors. Swingle, who was the executive director of the Northwest Wine Benefit Foundation, brings marketing, event and fundraising experience to the WWIF board. She is

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Bill Schultz, Young Grower from Mattawan, Michigan

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age / 32
crops / apples, cherries, peaches, grapes, asparagus, and sweet corn
business / Schultz Fruitridge Farms, Inc. Bill works along with his parents and three siblings.
education / Learned from family on the farm along with

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Washington vineyards, orchards change hands

Sagemoor’s cherries, apples, plus well-established wine grapes attract new owners.

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Curtis Roy, Young Grower from Moxee, Washington

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age / 24
crops / manages cherry and apple orchards
business / Roy Farms. Curtis is part of the fifth generation working the family farm.
education / BS in Agriculture Economics at Washington State University

Q: What was your

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WSU researcher wins educator award

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Washington State University researcher, soil scientist and teacher, John Reganold, was named the 2014 Food and Farm Educator by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Berkeley Food Institute on May 14. Reganold is

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Honorees announced for Washington Wine auction

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The Auction of Washington Wines named Larry and Dick Olsen, and Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges as honorees for the 27th annual events this summer.

Larry and Dick Olsen are the auction’s 2014 Honorary Growers for their

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Potato chips and fine wines

Tim’s famous Northwest snack helped establish this Walla Walla winery.

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Kevin VerSnyder, Young Grower from Lake Leelanau, Michigan

Michagan grower talks about holding down a full-time job while operating his orchard.

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Steve Black joins Holtzinger

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Steve Black has been appointed sales manager of Holtzinger Fruit Company, Yakima, Washington. He was previously on the sales desk at Sage Fruit Company, Yakima, for eight years.

Black’s grandparents had a small orchard in the

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Uncertain future for Meyer Orchards

Ron Meyer, nearing retirement and without a transition plan, sees a murky future for his pear orchard.

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Kate Moser, Young Grower from Walnut Grove, California

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age / 33
crops / wine grapes, 200 acres in apples, 100 acres pears,
business / Darsie, Hutchinson & Pettigrew, Inc.
education / English and journalism focus
other experience / Learning from father and and ranch foreman Alfonso Casillas

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In the Box

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Puffer research
Dear Good Fruit Grower:
I am a University of California pomology farm advisor and have worked in the pear industry for going on 26 years. I read the article on WSU mating disruption research in the

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Sean & Joe Naumes, Young Growers from Medford Oregon

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growers / Medford, Oregon

(Sean, left) age / 24
crops / Pears and vineyard
education / Santa Clara University
title / Operations and production assistant

(Joe, right) age / 24
crops / Pears
education / University of Advanced Technology in Arizona
title /

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Nursery is going out strong

Family operated Columbia Basin Nursery is selling its last trees.

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Cherry marketer finds his niche

Jesus Aguilar helps growers add value to their crops.

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Tim Smith, the growers’ ally

Tim Smith always worked with the growers’ interests in mind.

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Growers benefit from Smith’s work

Tim Smith’s research has put money back in growers’ pockets.

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Ryan Swanson, Young Grower from Nova Scotia

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Ryan Swanson/ grower / Centreville, Nova Scotia, Canada

age / 37

crops / More than 130 acres of apples

business / Eisses Farms, Ltd.

education / Mount Royal University, Calgary

other experience / Learning from father and brother-in-law about the

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Mayer named Apple Citizen of the Year

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Kirk Mayer, manager of the Washington Growers Clearing House Association, has been named Apple Citizen of the Year by the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival.

Festival Royalty Roslyn Thompson, Nikara Morgan, and Caroline Dahl presented Mayer

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Pear grower Laura Naumes blazes a trail

Laura Naumes is the first woman to chair the Pear Bureau Northwest.

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Inspiration Awards presented to Yakima area farm families

Four couples from Mexico were honored by the Center for Latino Farmers in Yakima

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