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It just got out of hand

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Phil Brown Welding officially started business in 1964, after some years as an unofficial provider of specialized fruit industry equipment.

“My dad was a fruit grower,” Phil said. “We started building machines for our use, and

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IFTA Board Adds New Members

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Three new directors were elected to the board of the International Tree Fruit Association during IFTA’s 53rd annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in early March, and two board members were re-elected.

The new directors, each

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Charles L. “Charlie” Bennett 1945-2010

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Charles L. “Charlie” Bennett, 64, who spent his career working on the rootstock development program at Cornell University in Geneva, New York, died February 24.

He began working in the mid-1960s for the New York State

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Lonnie Alvin Conner, 1925–2010

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Pasco, Washington, juice grape grower Lonnie Conner, who devoted much of his life to industry and community affairs, died February 19 after a brief illness. He was 84.

Conner, born in Kellogg, Idaho, served in the

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IFTA Makes Awards to Key People

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The International Fruit Tree Association gave awards during the winter conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in early March.

Phil Brown, owner of Phil Brown Welding, Conklin, Michigan, won the Industry Service Award for his 35 years

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Last Bite – From timber to apples

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Arden Harris was a member of a family that pioneered in the development of the lumber resources of the Entiat and Waterville regions of north central Washington State. His father was Charles Albert Harris, a

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Conversations with the city

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Orchardists represent a sliver of American agriculture. Most of our nation’s farmers grow field crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. Many raise livestock, for meat or dairy. Others in the produce sector tend fields

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A grand dream

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Grand Rêve Estate Vineyard sits high above Col Solare Winery on Washington State’s Red Mountain, as seen in the background on the left.

As if planting on a steep slope wasn’t challenging enough, add rock, caliche,

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Last Bite – A double-duty fruit box label

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The ranch house still exists but the sign identifying the property, which was unusual for an area fruit ranch, is long gone.

Ordinarily, this column begins with a history of an individual or company that was

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Growing tomorrow’s leaders

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Noel Mathison (with beard) makes a point during a Class 32 seminar.

What does Washington State Senator Linda Evans Parlette have in common with Dain Craver, grower of organic tree fruits? Both are graduates of the

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New AVA has historic roots

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One of the original vines planted in 1917 by William Bridgeman, still in production today.

by Chelan David and Melissa Hansen
The Newhouse family always knew they had a unique site to grow grapes. But with the

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Big goal

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Operating seven casinos in Chile evidently wasn’t enough of a gamble for the owner of Agricola Victoria, which has cherry orchards at Rosario, south of Rancagua.

Improving fruit size is a key goal for Antonio Walker,

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Cherries with a challenge

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Chilean cherry grower Pablo Garcés (fourth from left) is general manager and part owner of 800 growing hectares (almost 2,000 acres), half of the acreage is planted with cherries.

Former agronomist Oscar Letelier decided to become

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Seeking strength in adversity

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The disastrous 2009 Northwest cherry deal could be a catalyst for change, resulting in a stronger industry, industry representatives said during a panel discussion at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Last season, the Northwest

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Service is an education

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im and Rena Doornink of Parker, Washington, have been named Good Fruit Growers of the Year for 2009 by Good Fruit Grower magazine.

The award is made annually to a grower or family who is innovative

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Strategies for Success

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Jim and Rena Doornink planted this block of Jazz apples last spring. Jazz will fill a gap in their harvest schedule between Honeycrisp and Fuji, keeping their crew busy all summer long.

During his 35 years

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Family branches into organics

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Alberto Carleti planted this hillside orchard after seeing orchards in Sunnyside, Washington.

Argentine cherry grower Alberto Carleti partnered with a friend in Washington State to establish his latest cherry orchard at Tunuyn in Mendoza.

Carleti, who has

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Video touts fruit industry jobs

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Jobs in the tree fruit industry aren’t limited to the obvious ones of picking or packing fruit. That’s the message conveyed in a new video called “Pick of the Crop” made for the Washington Apple

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Last Bite – The Land of the Yakamas

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Cowin paid careful attention to marketing, and his high-quality fruit stood out in the marketplace.

In 1909-1910, Earle Cowin earned the distinction of being one of first Pacific Northwest fruit growers to plant an orchard on

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Embracing change

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Laura Mrachek works to make a difference in the tree fruit industry.

Laura Mrachek, retiring president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, likes change.

So, when she predicts that orchardists are going to have to do things

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Ready for change

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As the new president, John Verbrugge will lead Washington’s Horticultural Association into more involvement with state regulatory issues.

New Hort President John Verbrugge represents a change that’s taking place within the 105-year-old Washington State Horticultural Association

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Last Bite – Groceries, politics, land, fruit

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Walter Bolinger became a fruit grower and packer after working for many years as a shopkeeper.

Merchant, politician, real estate developer, orchardist—each of these terms could be used to describe Walter Albert Bolinger. Bolinger was a

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Industry veteran is new CEO

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With more than 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the tree fruit industry, Keith Mathews became CEO in October for the new marketing firm, FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.

Mathews was executive director of the Yakima

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Good Job – November

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Mathews CEO at FirstFruits
Keith Mathews, former executive director of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association, is the new CEO at FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a new marketing firm in Yakima that opened for business in August.

Mathews

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Quick Bites – November

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Teeple chairs USApple
John Teeple of Teeple Farms, Inc., Wolcott, New York, chairs the U.S. Apple Association for 2009-2010. He succeeds Bruce Grim, Entiat, Washington.

Teeple, a third-generation grower, grows more than 15 varieties of apples on

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Quick Bites

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Big Gala crop

The Washington State apple industry expects to harvest 107 million boxes of fresh apples this fall, according to the first official estimate compiled in August. That would be a 2 percent drop from

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In the Box

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Dear Good Fruit Grower:
There is not enough space in your publication to praise, brag, nor describe the impact that Dr. Joe Sabol has made on California agriculture. Dr. Joe is a teacher’s teacher. He is

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Good Point – Jennifer Witherbee

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It’s almost time to send the Washington Apple Education Foundation’s 2009 crop of scholarship winners off on their college adventures.

I am excited to report that this year, 100 students will enter college campuses with financial

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Hot spot for Pinot Noir

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Lois and Mike Thiede’s Ginkgo Forest Winery is near the Petrified Ginkgo Forest State Park. They have planted hundreds of ginkgo trees near the winery to create their own “ginkgo forest.”

What started out as a

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Wine with a cause

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Winery owners Stacy Lill (left) and Kathy Johanson provide mentoring and scholarships for young women.

The idea was hatched on Halloween night, 2006. Over dinner with their husbands, long-time pals Kathy Johanson and Stacy Lill decided

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Sweet Skylar Rae

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Skylar Rae cherries about a week before harvest. In tests, the soluble solids have been as high as 30° Brix.

If you were designing the perfect cherry, you might want one that looks similar to Rainier,

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From wines to spirits

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Rusty Figgins plans to be selling apple eau-de-vie and other clear, unaged brandy products later this year.

Berle “Rusty” Figgins, Jr., wants to be the first in Washington State to commercially produce and legally sell fine

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Global wine perspective

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German-born Thomas Henick-Kling developed an interest and appreciation for wine at a young age. When he was just 16, he began accompanying his wine-loving father, a justice of the peace in a lower court, on

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In the Box

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Dear Good Fruit Grower:

If Ben Mann (cover artist, June 2009 Good Fruit Grower) were working for me, he would be immediately given his final check and asked to not come back.

Perhaps, on a good day,

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Last Bite – An Apple A Day

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Wilbert “Bill” Hansen was an exception to the rule about many successful fruit industry people being born and raised in the Midwest, because Hansen grew up right in the Yakima Valley on a small hardscrabble

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Big plans for WSU viticulture

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Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling tasted wines produced from Puget Sound appellation grapes during a visit to Washington State University’s Northwest Research and Extension Center in Mt. Vernon.

On the job only a few months, Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling

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