Scott Smith, a third-generation fruit grower and packer in Tonasket, Washington, received the Good Fruit Grower of the Year Award for 2012. The award is made annually to a commercial grower who produces good quality fruit, is innovative and inspiring, and has contributed to the industry.
Smith has 250 acres of orchard in north central Washington, close to the Canadian border, and operates Smith and Nelson, one of the smallest packing houses in Washington State and one of few to survive in Okanogan County. His strategy on the growing side has been to produce high-value varieties, such as the ENZA apples Jazz and Pacific Rose, from New Zealand, rather than high-volume commodity apples.
As well as running his business, Smith has served for many years with industry groups at the state and national level. He was on the board of trustees of the U.S. Apple Association for 20 years and served as its president in 2005-2006. There, he not only represented Washington State’s interests but worked to find solutions that would be beneficial to growers throughout the country.
He succeeded his father, Monte Smith, on the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Grade and Pack Committee 29 years ago and has been its cochair, with Mark Tudor, since 1998.
He has been on the board of the Wenatchee Valley Traffic Association for 26 years and served president in 2009-2011.
In addition, Smith has been a member of the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s Apple Advisory Committee for 12 years, and is chair of the Whitestone Reclamation District.
The award is sponsored by Good Fruit Grower magazine. Look for a full feature about Smith in the January 1, 2013, issue.