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The Top 5

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Is yours a family-first business or a business-first family?

Iowa farmer and author Jolene Brown explained the difference when she spoke at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting last December. A family-first business tends to

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Ladders on the run

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Photos courtesy of John Maher

It was the “elegant, gorgeous shape” of wooden orchard ladders that first struck artist John Maher.

As the concept took shape in his mind, he thought about Christo’s Running Fence art installation

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End of the line

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Growers Credit Corporation board members and staff leave their last board meeting. Pictured are (from left) Bob Petersen of Manson, Gary Roberts of Oroville, former manager Steve Joy, office manager Nancy Baker, Roger Hodgson of

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Hort awards and recognition

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The following fruit industry members were honored during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting in December.
Silver Apple
George Allan, a partner at the fruit growing and packing operation Allan Brothers in Naches, Washington, received the

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Maia’s special advisor

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While not associated with the Midwest Apple Improvement Association as its apple breeder, Ohio State University’s Dr. Diane Doud Miller has credentials as an apple geneticist and researcher with a special interest in working with

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Packer finds his niche

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With more than 40 percent of his acreage in the New Zealand apple varieties Pacific Rose and Jazz, Scott Smith admits he’s taken a big gamble. But planting new varieties has been his strategy for

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Good Job

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Cherry co-op names new president
Oregon Cherry Growers, Inc., a member -owned fruit cooper­ative, named Timothy Ramsey as its new president and chief executive officer. Ramsey, with experience leading companies and launching new products, was most

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Newest AVA

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Cameron Fries of White Heron Cellars was one of several who worked to create the new Ancient Lakes AVA.
Photo courtesy of White Heron Cellars

When the first wine grapes were planted in Washington State’s newest American

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Not your typical nursery

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Markus Freepons of Northwest Vinifera, showed his grape callusing pits during a field day held last August sponsored by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers.
Photo by Melissa Hansen

Marcus Freepons, owner of the grape nursery

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Worried about labor

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Steve Hunt, the incoming president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society, grows only one kind of fruit—blueberries—about 110 acres worth.

He’s been doing it for 32 years, starting work on a grower’s farm when he was

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Borton Fruit turns 100

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Members of the Borton family currently involved in the business are (left to right): Andy Birley (fourth generation), Katie (Borton) Birley (fourth), John Borton (third), Richard Borton (second), Eric Borton (fourth), Bill Borton (third), Byron

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Transition brings uncertainty

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Kevin Moore
Courtesy of University of Missouri, Columbia

In a family farm business, there’s often the hope or expectation that the next generation will return to work on the farm. But young people who are thinking of

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The no-family dilemma

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You’ve invested your life in building a vineyard, winery, or other agricultural enterprise, producing a high-quality product with a topnotch reputation. For some, the business can be left to children to continue the family legacy.

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Tips for succession planning

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Bob Betz and Steve Griessel offer these suggestions to growers, winemakers, and others involved in agriculture interested in developing a succession plan:
1. Plan ahead.
• Allow several years to develop succession plan.
• Get your financial house

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Information is key

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As incoming president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, Jeff Cleveringa hopes to strengthen the association’s role in keeping growers informed.

For over a century, the association has held its annual meeting each December to apprise

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Students follow grapes from berry to bottle

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During the second week of class, having had just two lectures to learn about safety and sanitation, Trent Ball’s students were already gaining practical experience, crushing Syrah and pressing Rousanne grapes from Washington State’s Horse

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Good Stuff

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New Zealand’s Tow and Blow
Tow and Blow is a portable wind machine developed in New Zealand by engineer Kim McAulay. He used to import wind machines from the United States but designed his own portable

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Des Layne joins WSU

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Washington State University has appointed Dr. Desmond Layne, a professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, to the new position of tree fruit extension team leader. He will start his new job on February 1.

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New director

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Soil Scientist Dr. Rich Koenig has been appointed associate dean and director of Washington State University Extension. He was formerly chair of WSU’s department of crop and soil sciences.

He succeeds Dr. Randy Baldree who served

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Growing great learners

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Washington Fruit and Produce Company, one of Washington’s top tree fruit producers, is seeing success in a new type of cultivation: helping the young children of some of its employees be better prepared to succeed

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U.S. cider takes U.K. honors

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Peter Ringsrud used to grow picture-perfect Red and Golden Delicious apples at his East Wenatchee, Washington, orchard, but found little profit in it.

After a 25-year interval working as an engineer, Ringsrud returned to the orchard

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Affecting lives through education

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This year, the Washington Apple Education Foundation awarded scholarships worth a total of $475,000 to 187 students, but had to turn another 232 students away.

The foundation was formed in 1994 and is recognized as the

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Fireblight expert retires

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Larry Pusey has used crab apples for his fireblight studies, as they can be manipulated to bloom year round in the greenhouse.
Geraldine Warner

For almost 20 years, Dr. Larry Pusey has been focused on researching a

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Looking for a bipartisan solution

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Apple harvest season last year brought home to Dale Foreman just how important a reliable labor force was to his apple-growing operation. Some of his apples went unpicked because of a labor shortage in Washington

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The ciders of Quebec

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In Canada’s Quebec province, the word cider means only one thing—fermented apple juice. You don’t call it hard cider, or apple wine. You just call it cider.

Unlike in the United States, in Quebec apple juice

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Lake Chelan sparkles

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Julie Pittsinger checks on her four-year-old planting of Pinot Meunier, one of the grapes traditionally used to make Champagne.

Julie and Bret Pittsinger, owners of Karma Vineyards at Chelan, believe that the Lake Chelan area could

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The Kings of Flint

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Jacky and Dora King have been urban farmers for about six years. The six acres that they farm now contain two hoop-style greenhouses, vegetable gardens, and a 200-tree fruit orchard. The property used to hold

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Urban orchards

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For more than half a century, the great industrial cities of the northeastern United States have been decaying. From what used to be dynamic urban centers, people and industries have moved out, sprawling over adjacent

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Merging two cultures

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During the early cherry season, West Mathison, ­president of Stemilt Growers, Inc., Wenatchee, Washington, spends about half his time at the company’s California plant, where he sees plenty of familiar faces.

As the Pacific Northwest apple

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In the Box

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Dear Good Fruit Grower:
I just received the June 2012 issue. As always, lots of good and timely information included between the covers.

However, I’m hoping it was a gross oversight and not intentional that the individual

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Bob Koehler promoted by Pear Bureau

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The Pear Bureau Northwest has promoted Bob Koehler to lead regional marketing manager. In this new position, he will serve as the liaison between Kevin Moffitt, Pear Bureau president, and the regional managers in territories

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Land-grant pride in Vermont

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Many land-grant university campuses have a ­landmark building called Morrill Hall. There are Morrill Halls in New York, Tennessee, Nebraska, ­Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Michigan, and elsewhere.

But the one in which Thomas Vogelmann has

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Pillars of agriculture

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American farmers can call up images from two very different historical threads when describing themselves.

Farmers are rugged individualists, pioneers who tackled the unfriendly frontier, rifle in one hand, guiding the plow with the other, spouse

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Land-grant pioneer

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At Michigan State University, “the pioneer land-grant university,” the pioneering spirit lives on, but it sometimes scares people, especially its most ardent supporters.

Some fear that the strongest land-grant feature—its agricultural character—will die out, buried by

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Going without sulfites

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Greg Powers knows viticulture and enology from the ground up and was manager for the family estate vineyard before taking on winemaker duties.
Melissa Hansen

Greg Powers, winemaker for Washington State’s largest organic winery, didn’t initially make

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Finding a better way

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All of the vines at Badger Mountain Vineyard are trained to the Scott-Henry trellis system. Bill Powers says that the Scott-Henry is more labor intensive than other trellis systems but results in higher yields, making

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Head of the class

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The Young Apple Leaders of 2012 are, back row left to right, Sarah Dressell, Sara Shanteau, Casey Collins, Adam Peters, Mark Boyer, Dave Gargasz, Jeff Armock, Mark Stennes, and Andy Ferguson; front row, Holly Rogers-Rios,

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Need a lawyer?

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A group of Young Leaders listens to Don Kraemer, acting deputy director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, during the leadership luncheon.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Apple Association

Andy Ferguson is a 25-year-old

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Lone organic grower finds it tough

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Most of Owens’s orchards are surrounded by mature timber. On this mountain, he has three isolated orchards, each about a half mile apart. Luckily, infrastructure is good, as the landowner built good roads at his

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Eastern organic apples

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Until now, Owens has worked with orchards established conventionally and converted to organic.

This year, Anthony Owens will start his second decade as a grower of organic apples. That’s likely a record for his location.

Back in

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Eye-to-eye with consumers

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The bin porch offers customers a wide choice, and they can buy any mixture at a fixed price for a full bag. On this day, there were 17 varieties of apples and pears for sale.
Richard

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Last Bite–From refugee to cherry breeder

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Dr. Charles Lapins selected the Lapins cherry more than 40 years ago.

Charles Lapins came to North America as a farm laborer after World War II, not suspecting that his name would ultimately be known to

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Parallel PEAKS

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Orchardist John McQuaig hopes hisbook will help people hold onto their dreams and keep heading upward in their business pursuits.
Geraldine Warner

Entrepreneur, orchardist, and mountaineer John McQuaig dreamed for years of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

He

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A flair for selling fruit

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Left: Sidney Kuhn, 32, owns the direct marketing arm of Kuhn Orchards. Right: David Wenk and uncle carry on the family farm that dates to 1796. Richard Lehnert Sidney

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New generation finds marketing niche

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Sidney, left, her father David, and Katy Lesser Clowney sort apples that have come back from the market unsold. They may go to Knouse Foods, the cider mill, or into the cull bin. Richard

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Retail is cool

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Ben, 26, carries on the transition from growing fruit for processing to growing fruit for retail sales Richard Lehnert What Ben Wenk is building on has been a long time

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In The Box

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Brothers Mark, Ted, David, and John Rice were named Good Fruit Growers of the Year for 2011. They are the seventh generation of the family to grow apples in Adams County, Pennsylvania.

More acclaim for the

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Honoree is a survivor

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Rob Andrews, holding what was once a Merlot vine, said they wasted no time reworking their Merlot blocks, which were hit hardest by the November 2010 freeze. By October, suckers had already been retrained up

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Good Job

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Lewis receives Latino award
Karen Lewis, Washington State University tree fruit regional extension specialist, has been honored with the first annual Latino Leadership Award from the Washington State Horticultural Association.

The award was established at the suggestion

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Outlook improves for N.C. growers

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It took some land leveling to make a place for the Apple Wedge packing house.
Richard Lehnert

The view from the high hill behind the packing shed at Apple Wedge Packing is worth climbing to see. Until

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