Chad Kruger
Chad Kruger

Chad Kruger has been named the next director of Washington State University’s Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee, Washington, according to a news release from WSU.

Kruger will begin his new position in Wenatchee on July 1, taking over for Kate Evans who has served as the interim director, in addition to leading the center’s pome fruit breeding program, since Jim McFerson retired in August 2019. 

Kruger currently serves as director of WSU’s Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center in Mount Vernon, the Puyallup Research and Extension Center, and the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

He started at WSU in 2004 and worked for 11 years in Wenatchee before leaving for the west side of the state. 

“Chad will be an invaluable asset at the Wenatchee campus,” said André-Denis Wright, dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, in the release. “The stewardship, vision, and leadership he cultivated at Mount Vernon and Puyallup will be vital resources to the faculty, staff, and students at the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.”

TFREC hosts 12 WSU faculty and five USDA‐ARS scientists who conduct research and outreach on annual and perennial specialty crops, with a primary emphasis on apples, pears and cherries. Represented disciplines include entomology, horticulture, plant physiology, plant pathology and soil biology. The center also includes administrative staff and farm and facilities personnel, 11 visiting scientists and postdoctoral researchers, 20 technical support staff, 23 graduate students and several summer interns associated with research and extension programs.

“This position brings me full circle, and I’m really looking forward to meeting the challenges and opportunities that await me,” Kruger said in the release. 

—by Jonelle Mejica