Schlect Chris blog post●  Sarah Bittleman, who was the senior agricultural counselor at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,  is now on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden’s staff as legislative director and is also a key legal adviser to the Finance Committee. Senator Wyden (D/Oregon) is the new chairman of Finance.

●  Next Wednesday, I plan to travel to Washington, D.C., for the annual spring meetings of the United States Apple Association. Congressional “Hill” visits are set for Thursday, with assorted meetings on Friday, and USApple’s board meeting on Saturday. These meetings will serve to fully inaugurate Jim Bair, USApple’s chief executive officer, into his new duties as the leader of the nation’s apple industry trade association.

● Hillary Rodham Clinton will be the keynote speaker on June 10 in Chicago before a joint meeting of the United Fresh Produce Association and the Food Marketing Institute. United’s annual convention will take place June 10-13 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. ▪ It will be interesting to see if United’s trade floor participation will be adversely affected due to the nearness of The Packer’s Midwest Produce Conference & Expo, which is scheduled also for Chicago on August 11-13.

● Don Moos passed away at age 90 in Wenatchee on the last day of February. Mr. Moos, among many other official positions, in the 1960s served as Washington state’s director of agriculture. I came to know this highly respected man when he was a special advisor to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton in the mid-1980s.

● Political Fruit: “In Vienna [Austria-Hungary's Foreign Minister] Aehrenthal talked matter-of-factly about war. ‘The Serbian scallywag wanted to steal apples from our garden and we have apprehended him and will only let him go if he promises lasting improvement.’”  Margaret MacMillan, The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, (2013).