Lynn Long is announced as the 2018 Cherry King at the annual Cherry Institute held in Yakima, Washington, on January 12, 2018. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Lynn Long, a longtime Oregon State University horticulturist, was named the annual Cherry King on Friday at the 75th annual Cherry Institute in Yakima.

Long, who partially retired in 2017, took the gold crown dotted with red cherries from the previous King, Bob Bailey, and posed for pictures with his children and grandchildren at the Cherry Institute’s annual luncheon.

“It’s certainly an honor to be counted among the elite,” Long said.

Long’s first experience with agriculture was making $2.50 per day picking strawberries in the Willamette Valley.

He studied plant pathology at Washington State University and has researched dozens of cherry varieties and rootstocks all over the world throughout.

He spent the past 29 years as OSU’s extension horticulturist in The Dalles, Oregon.

– by Ross Courtney