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  • The annual meeting of the Western Governors’ Association will be held at the Cascade Mountain Range resort of Suncadia, Washington, on June 9-12.  Governor Christine Gregoire will host the event, which is scheduled to include on its program a roundtable discussion on agricultural trade exports featuring Ambassador Isi Siddiqui of the Office of the United States Trade Representative and Michael Scuse, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. Taking advantage of this opportunity, a side trip to a cherry packing plant in the Yakima Valley is being planned by our industry for the Under Secretary.
  • USDA/AMS released its latest Pesticide Data Program Annual Summary on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend. Better efforts were made this year by the Agricultural Marketing Service to put the report into context and reassure the public that the fresh fruits and vegetables they buy are safe. So far, media reaction has been muted.
  • Texas Primary Report: The U.S. Senate primary race last Tuesday resulted in a required run-off election between the two top Republican vote-getters (David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz). Of more interest to fans of Washington State University football, candidate Craig James, the nemesis of Coach Mike Leach, was crushed, gathering a mere 3.58% of the vote.
  • I plan to travel this September to Hong Kong for Asiafruit Congress and Asia Fruit Logisitica, with a quick  trip to nearby Guangzhou, China. For those who haven’t yet absorbed all the new place names, Guangzhou, on the Pearl River, was once known to Westerners as Canton. The magnitude of the number of people living in China is shown in the widely varying population figures given for this one Chinese city; all the way from 8.9 million to 15 million. The entire population of Denmark could be added to the low estimated population figure for Guangzhou and the new total number would still not reach the highest estimated figure.