Joe Klein Sr., owner of Royal J. Klein and Son Orchard of Sparta, Michigan, has been named Fruit Person of the Year by the Michigan Association of Pomesters.
Joe and Sharon Klein and their son Joe Klein Jr. grow 220 acres of fresh-market apples, which are sold by Jack Brown Produce under the brand name Apple Ridge. Klein has been a board member of Jack Brown Produce for more than 40 years and is its treasurer and chairman. Klein won the Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan State Horticultural Society in 2010. He serves on the board of the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo.