Bob Bailey of Orchard View Farms in The Dalles, Oregon, was named the 2017 Cherry King at the Cherry Institute in Yakima, Washington in January.
Bailey is the 73rd Cherry King, an honor created to recognize growers and industry leaders for their dedication to the cherry industry.
A 1963 graduate of Oregon State University’s College of Business with a minor in horticulture, Bailey is the third generation on the family farm established by his grandparents in 1923. The company is among the largest sweet cherry-growing operations in the country.
Bailey saw potential for extending the cherry season through plantings of new varieties and in new locations and has been a proponent of efforts to develop and promote technologies that allow cherries to maintain their freshness.
Bailey has served on the numerous boards, including the Oregon Sweet Cherry Growers, the Oregon Cherry Growers and the Oregon State University Foundation. He and his wife, Barbara, also have made plans through their estate to create three endowments at OSU: one to support the Master Gardener program, a second to support student learning in the university’s entrepreneurship program, and a third to support faculty research activities at the Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center related to cherry production and other tree fruit.
Bailey received OSU’s Distinguished Service Award in 2001. He and his wife have two daughters; one, Brenda Frances Bailey-Thomas, is now president and general manager of Orchard View Farms.