Silver Apple

Organic grower and consultant Dain Craver of Royal City received the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Silver Apple award.

Craver grew up in California. His father, a police officer and part-time actor, moved the family to Spokane, Washington, when Craver was young. After attending Washington State University, Craver got a job managing orchards for Columbia Fruit Company and then spent 18 months managing an apple warehouse in New Mexico. After returning to Washington, he worked for the orchard supply company Northwest Wholesale, and leased his first orchard in 1988 in Royal City. He went into organic production in 1991 and served on the Washington Organic Program’s advisory program for eight years. He also served on the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission for eight years.

He has consulted for both organic and conventional growers and manages the 600-acre Stein Orchards at Royal City as well as his own orchards. He has a diversified operation and takes his fruit to 13 packing houses.

Since the 1980s, when his mother had cancer, Craver has donated hair to Locks of Love, an organization that supplies hairpieces to disadvantaged children suffering from hair loss because of medical reasons. He cuts his hair every two years or so.

Silver Pear

Dr. Gene Kupferman, Washington State University postharvest specialist for the past 30 years, received the Silver Pear award on the eve of his retirement. Presenting the award, income Hort President West Mathison said Kupferman’s research has focused primarily on the industry’s bottom line. He obtained $2 million in grant funding to study pear ripening and how it can be used to improve grower returns.

Kupferman has written articles and developed newsletters and Web sites to help keep growers informed.

“I have always tried to recognize that our job is to communicate research results,” he said. “Wherever the research was done around the world, our job was to put it in the hands of the people in Washington who needed it in an understandable format.”

Kupferman grew up in New York and earned a bachelor’s degree in international politics at the University of the Americas in Mexico. He earned a master’s degree in agriculture from California State Polytechnic University and a doctorate in horticulture from WSU. He worked for two years as a WSU county Extension agent in Spokane before moving to the Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee.

He retired at the end of the year.

Women’s Leadership

Washington State University Extension educator Gwen-Alyn Hoheisel received the 2010 Women’s Leadership in Science award, and

Barbara Larson Walkenhauer, chief financial offer at Larson Fruit Company, Selah, received the Women’s Leadership award for service. The awards are sponsored by Laura Mrachek, Cascade Analytical.

Hoheisel, who is based at the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Prosser, is conducting trials to evaluate spray application technology and aims to use new technology to modernize extension communication. She is involved in the major research project, Comprehensive Automation for Specialty Crops.

Hoheisel earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in entomology from Pennsylvania State University. In 2002, she took a technician position with WSU at Prosser. She was appointed Extension educator for Benton and Franklin Counties in 2006.

Walkenhauer has been involved in the apple industry since 1980 when she began working as controller for the family business, Larson Fruit Company. She now runs the company with her cousin Keith Larson. For the past ten years, she has been president and chief executive officer of Larson’s orchard operations. She has served on the board of the Yakima Valley Growers-Shippers Association, the Washington State Horticultural Association, and the Washington Apple Education Foundation. She currently serves on the board of the Washington Apple Commission and chairs its operations committee.

Accepting the award, Walkenhauer commented that working as a woman in the Washington tree fruit industry is not easy, but she would like to see more women take part in the future. “This is a dynamic industry, and I would love to see more women involved,” she said.

Organic service

David Granatstein, WSU sustainable agriculture specialist, received the first Organic Industry Service Award during the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Granatstein has been with WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources in Wenatchee since 1993 and has conducted research trials on organic weed control, orchard floor management, compost, mulches, soil quality, biological controls for pests, and other topics. He maintains the WSU organic and integrated tree fruit production Web site as well as the organic statistics Web site.

Granatstein earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Cornell University and a master’s degree in soil science from WSU. For seven years, during the 1970s, he managed a cooperative organic farm in Okanogan County, Washington. In 1985-86, he worked on an international research and extension project in Lesotho in southern Africa, and then worked for two years for the nonprofit Land Stewardship

Project in Minnesota before returning to WSU in 1989 to work on a six-state sustainable dryland farming project.

He is a member of the organic advisory board for the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Food Program and on the board of directors of Oregon Tilth. In 2005, he organized the North American Organic Tree Fruit Research Symposium in Chelan, Washington, and he is organizing an international organic fruit symposium that will be held in Washington in 2012.

Granatstein said that while at WSU he has especially enjoyed his on-farm research with growers and the opportunities to work on sustainable agriculture in other countries, such as Russia, Korea, Taiwan, South America, Italy, and Switzerland.

New OSU appointment for Brian Tuck

Brian Tuck has been appointed director of Oregon State University’s Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hood River.

Tuck has been an OSU Extension Service field faculty member for 27 years and has worked in the Wasco County Extension office in The Dalles since 1998. He has served as Wasco County Extension co-chair for the past seven years and recently was also in charge of the Hood River County Extension office on an interim basis, according to Dr. Scott Reed, OSU Extension Service director.

With his new appointment, Tuck will be in charge of both the agricultural research facility and the Extension office in Hood River, and continue as Extension educator and co-chair at the Wasco County Extension office. Dr. Peter Shearer, who had a split appointment as research station director and researcher at Hood River, will move into a 100-percent research position, Reed said.

Tuck’s appointment is part of a statewide effort in which the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station and OSU Extension Service are collaborating to streamline administration and direct more resources into program delivery. “We’re doing everything we can to optimize the right ­balance between administration and program,” Reed said.

In a press release, Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, dean of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the OSU Agricultural Experiment Station, said that it is part of an effort to be more efficient in a time of tight operating budgets. “Our goal is to reduce overhead while enhancing the integration of research and Extension efforts in the county and region.”

Pheasant returns to consulting

After working at the Washington State Horticultural Association to help develop and launch its Growers Response to Safe and Sustainable Agriculture (GRAS2P) program, Susan Pheasant is returning to consulting work with Pheasant Projects, Inc.

Most recently, she served as the GRAS2P program director. With tree fruit industry support and input, and more than $350,000 in grant funds, she guided the development of the program, along with a guidance manual and accompanying tools, to help growers prepare for food safety audits, particularly GlobalGAP and USDA GAP.

Pheasant was also the Hort Association’s liaison for the food safety harmonization effort initiated by United Fresh.

Through her own consulting business, Pheasant will continue to help provide growers with educational programs and tools, with emphasis on food safety, risk management, and orchard business innovations that contribute to good agricultural practices and long-term economic viability.

This fall, Pheasant and business partner Mauricio Frias of Chile, led a tree fruit tour to northern Italy focusing on high density orchards and mechanization.  Upcoming tours will take place in Washington/Oregon, Chile/Argentina, and South Africa.

Ostenson retires from Stemilt

Harold Ostenson has retired as organic program manager with Stemilt Growers, Inc., Wenatchee, Washington. He had been with the company since 2005.

Ostenson helped to establish new cherry orchards and develop an organic program at the Chincholo-Stemilt facility in Stockton, California, according to information from company president West Mathison. He also helped a number of growers in California to advance harvest and maximize cherry production and revenues. He worked with Kyle Mathison and his management team on the Kyle Family Farms orchards near Bakersfield, ­California.

Ostenson will continue to work with Stemilt part time as an advisor and consultant on special projects. He also plans to consult in the industry, working with growers on innovative applied research projects.

Before joining Stemilt, Ostenson was an independent packer and shipper at George, Washington, and had worked exclusively with organic fruit for a decade. He has been involved in numerous industry research projects relating to organic fruit production.

Stemilt’s general manager retires

Hans van Someren Gréve will retire as executive vice president and general manager of Stemilt Growers, Inc., Wenatchee, Washington, on December 10. He will remain on the board of directors.

Van Someren Gréve, son-in-law of company founder, the late Tom Mathison, joined Stemilt’s board in 1991 and has worked for Stemilt full time since 1997. He spent the early part of his career at Stemilt traveling in Europe and Asia to meet with customers. He later became responsible for Stemilt’s Washington operations, including production, logistics, quality control, information technology, and human resources. During that time, Stemilt has evolved into one of the nation’s leading shippers of sweet cherries and organic tree fruits.

Van Someren Gréve attended college in the Netherlands and earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Puget Sound. It was there that he met his future wife, Lavonne. He then spent 17 years working in the international business world before joining Stemilt.

Stemilt spokesperson Roger Pepperl said company president West Mathison would take over van Someren Gréve’s duties until the company appoints a ­successor.

Janick honored for life’s work

Jules Janick, one of the world’s most respected and best-known horticulturists, was honored in November as an outstanding alumnus of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell in 1951.

Janick has been at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, since that year, when he entered as a graduate assistant. He received a PhD in 1954 and joined the faculty as an instructor. He became James Troop Distinguished Professor in 1988 and has been the director of Purdue University’s Center for New Crops and Plant Products since 1990. Among numerous honors, in 2009 he was inducted into the American Society for Horticultural Science Hall of Fame—the society’s highest honor.

“Jules has led a distinguished career and continues to teach undergraduates, edit publications in horticulture and plant breeding, and participate in research on fruit breeding and horticultural history and iconography,” the Cornell citation said.

Janick has worked closely with the cooperative PRI apple breeding program, which started in 1945 as a joint project of Purdue University, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and the University of Illinois. He is currently Purdue’s program leader. The program has focused on developing varieties resistant to apple scab. Over 1,500 selections have been made, and 16 have been named, including GoldRush, Pristine, Pixie Crunch, CrimsonCrisp, Enterprise, and Jonafree.

Janick is founder and editor of the journals Horticultural Reviews and Plant Breeding Reviews, which are sourcebooks of technical information in both fields. Altogether, Jules has written, co-authored, or edited 147 books. His 42-lecture History of Horticulture can be viewed online at

He served as president of the American Society for Horticultural Science and was a longtime editor of the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science and HortScience, as well as editor-in-chief of ASHS Press. He has just completed an eight-year term as science editor of Chronica Horticulturae, a publication of the International Society for Horticultural Science, where he served as board member and director of publications.

Russi retires from Willow Drive

Jim Russi of Yakima, Washington, has retired as sales representative for Willow Drive Nursery of Ephrata, Washington. For the past 20 years, Russi has represented the nursery in the Yakima and Tri-Cities regions.

Several years ago, Russi purchased a roadside market, formerly known as the Donald Mercantile and now named Piety Flats Winery. He and his wife, Kris, will continue to operate the business.

Jim Adams, currently sales representative for Willow Drive in northern Washington, will take over Russi’s territory and cover the whole state.

Michigan’s Klein, Beaudry recognized for service

The Michigan State Horticultural Society gave distinguished service awards to Joe Klein and Dr. Randy Beaudry, two people well known in Michigan’s fruit industry. The awards were made during the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in early December.

Klein grows apples and cherries on his Ridge Fruit farm near Sparta, Michigan, and Beaudry is a nationally known postharvest physiologist at Michigan State University, currently developing storage protocols for popular new apple varieties like Honeycrisp.

Joseph B. Klein and his wife, Sharon, grow 170 acres of apples and six acres of sweet cherries on their Fruit Ridge farm near Sparta, Michigan. They took over the farm from his parents, Royal and Bernice, and now farm with their son, Joe.

Joe’s father started planting apples in the 1940s with 50 acres of standard apple trees. The farm now grows semidwarf and dwarf apples and includes six acres of pick-your-own and picked sweet cherry trees.  In 1957, his father built a controlled-atmosphere storage room that held 5,000 bushel crates. Today, that has expanded to four CA rooms that hold about 75,000 bushels with state-of-the-art technology.

Joe has been involved in a number of farm organizations. He was president of the Michigan State Horticultural Society in 2004. For more than 35 years he’s been secretary-treasurer of Jack Brown Produce. He was recently elected to the U.S. Apple Association board.

Originally from Ohio, Randy Beaudry earned his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Ohio State University and his doctorate from the University of Georgia. He started his career at MSU as a postharvest physiologist in 1989.

His research activities focus on preserving the postharvest quality of fruits and vegetables. He works with modified-atmosphere packaging, controlled-atmosphere storage, nondestructive quality assessment, apple postharvest disorder physiology, control of aroma biosynthesis, and use of volatiles to inhibit decay. Spinoffs from research have led to the development of a number of practical devices or methods for which patents have been awarded.

Current emphasis for the Great Lakes apple industry is on development of CA storage protocols for Honeycrisp.

His Extension assignment is with the Michigan Apple Maturity Program, which is designed to improve quality of Michigan apples. Information is shared weekly among Michigan shippers, packing houses, storage operators, and growers.

Beaudry organizes and conducts the biannual Controlled Atmosphere Storage Clinic, updating operators on changes in CA and packing house regulations, methods for increasing efficiency of CA operations, and techniques for improving their ability to maintain fruit quality.

Members honored by Grape Society

The Washington State Grape Society presented Larry Marchant, Prosser juice and wine grape grower, with its Lloyd H. Porter Grower of the Year award during the organization’s annual meeting in November. Marchant, a long-standing Grape Society member, began growing grapes in 1992. Since then, he has expanded his original 60-acre Concord vineyard to include wine grapes, and now farms 200 acres with his son Daniel.

Grandview juice grape grower Tim Grow received the Grape Society’s industry service award named after Dr. Walter Clore. Grow, with deep family roots in the state’s grape industry dating back to the 1940s, spent his childhood summers removing suckers from grapevines and helping in the family vineyard. After he graduated from college, farming was only going to be “temporary” while he figured out what he wanted to do in life. He purchased 100 acres of farm ground—40 acres of Concord grapes, 10 acres of apples, and the rest “swampland,” as he described it. In 1990, he started a custom grape-harvesting business, and today has two harvest operations that annually pick about 500 acres.

Grow was recognized for his grape industry contributions that include 36 years of membership with the National Grape Cooperative Association, serving as a board of director for the cooperative the last eight years, serving on the board of Welch’s Foods, Inc., since 2005, and as past president and board member of the Grape Society.

Ann Manley, owner of Manley Crop Insurance in Prosser, received the Distinguished Exhibitor award for her company’s longtime support and contributions to the Grape Society. In the business for 23 years, Manley has supported the Grape Society as a meeting sponsor.