• Washington Apple Commission logo

War in the heart of Europe’s apple production region may change the global picture for apple exports, according to Washington Apple Commission

March 3rd, 2022|0 Comments

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not just a humanitarian and political crisis, it’s also an agricultural one. Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain exporters, and its neighbors include some apple production leaders, including Poland and Turkey.  “This is going to have a major impact across Europe and

Tree Top CEO highlights Hort Show opening session

December 6th, 2021|0 Comments

Craig Green, president and CEO of Tree Top, shared concrete plans for the future of the Selah, Washington, fruit processing company as one of the highlights of the morning session at Day 1 of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting on Dec. 6, in Yakima. One of them

Blueberry industry votes to continue collective research and promotion program

November 8th, 2021|0 Comments

U.S. producers and importers of blueberries overwhelmingly voted to continue a national collective research and promotion program, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture news release on Nov. 8. In a referendum last month, 84 percent of producers and importers voted in favor of continuing the federal Blueberry Promotion, Research

Blueberry exports reach China

July 26th, 2021|0 Comments

A retailer in China held a ceremony this month to mark the first promoted import of fresh U.S. blueberries. The three pallets of berries were grown by Norris Farms in the Umpqua River Valley of Oregon and shipped airfreight by Domex Superfresh Growers of Yakima, Washington, to Pagoda, a Chinese

  • A federal judge has ruled in Washington State University’s favor in a breach of contract lawsuit with a spinoff company over the WA 38, the university’s new apple to be sold under the brand name Cosmic Crisp. Here, WA 38 hangs on a tree during a 2014 preview tour in Prosser. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

WA 38 details shared via webinar

February 9th, 2021|0 Comments

Managers of the commercialization of the WA 38, the Washington State University apple marketed as Cosmic Crisp, reported growth in domestic sales, European-grown apples reaching market for the first time and continued royalties for the university in a Feb. 9 webinar. Caretakers of the apple shared general stats about plantings,

2021 Cherry Institute spotlights Northwest cherry successes

January 21st, 2021|0 Comments

Of all produce, cherries showed the highest percentage of dollar growth in March to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, leading B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, to call them a pandemic powerhouse. “Cherries were amazing last year,” he said. All in all, the cherry industry

Ohio Apples rebrands as Fresh Forward

January 20th, 2021|0 Comments

Ohio Apples has rebranded as Fresh Forward, according to a news release. In recent years, the farm cooperative’s membership has grown beyond Ohio to include orchards and vegetable farms in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia. The new brand, Fresh Forward, and tagline, “Harvested from Great Lakes Farms,” better represent the regionality

Washington Fruit and Produce Co. and Yakima Fresh announce partnership

September 2nd, 2020|0 Comments

Two Yakima, Washington, fruit companies with over a century of experience each announced a merger of marketing operations this week. The new partnership, Washington Fruit Sales, will merge Yakima Fresh with the Washington Fruit and Produce sales team.  Marketing company Yakima Fresh was formerly a partnership of three Yakima-area fruit

Chile to take U.S. West Coast blueberries

August 5th, 2020|0 Comments

The government of Chile has agreed to accept imports of blueberries from Washington, Oregon and California, and will consider other areas, opening up potentially lucrative counter-season trade. On July 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, notified the North American Blueberry Council that

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Pear Bureau Northwest will meet via webinar May 26–29

May 21st, 2020|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau Northwest’s annual meetings will be held via webinar May 26–29. The meetings are open to all interested growers and other industry members. On Tuesday, the Fresh Pear Committee’s box weight and Anjou regulation subcomittees will meet. Wednesday will be the foreign trade committee meeting and Thursday will

  • The annual 5-state meeting of Cherry Growers Northwest, normally held in a Richland, Washington, hotel, convened virtually on May 13 with more than 100 participants by either Zoom or conference call. Sweet cherry producers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana collectively estimated a crop of 20.15 million 20-pound box equivalents. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Northwest Cherry Growers holds virtual 5-state annual meeting

May 13th, 2020|0 Comments

The annual 5-state meeting of Cherry Growers Northwest, normally held in a Richland, Washington, hotel, convened virtually on May 13 with more than 100 participants by either Zoom or conference call. Sweet cherry producers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana collectively estimated a crop of 20.15 million 20-pound box

Wine of the times

April 16th, 2020|0 Comments

In an era of too many bottles for too few drinkers, industry must adapt to new tastes, say experts at the Washington Winegrowers Association’s annual gathering.

  • In March, blueberries will join apples, pears, cherries and peaches among the ranks of fruit with their own smart phone emojis. (Courtesy U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council)

Feeling blue?

February 5th, 2020|0 Comments

Blueberries, already lauded for health benefits, have a new honor: Their own emoji. The Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit group that aims to set standards for digital communication, has approved the addition of the blueberries emoji for release in March, when it will join other fruit emojis such as the apple,

Kevin Shaw and Lance Davison, young growers from Vernon, British Columbia

January 1st, 2020|0 Comments

Kevin Shaw, a first-generation farmer, grew up in Kenya and pursued an engineering degree. Lance Davison, a fourth-generation farmer, grew up in Vernon and focused on horticulture in college. Kevin married Lance’s sister, Laura. The family business includes parents, Tamra and Tom Davison, and grandparents, Dora and Bob Davison.

  • Bartlett pear halves. (Courtesy Pacific Northwest Canned Pear Service)

Neil Jones makes price offer for canning pears

July 23rd, 2019|0 Comments

Neil Jones Food Co. has agreed to pay canning pear growers a price lower than offered by the association that has typically negotiated for Northwest farmers. At a small growers meeting last week, the Vancouver, Washington, company offered $315 for Grade 1A pears, said Adam McCarthy, a Hood River, Oregon,

Josh Heinicke, a young grower from Wenatchee, Washington

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments

https://youtu.be/4-7Uy5qsYwQ family background / Josh is the fourth generation of his family in farming and is the production supervisor at Columbia Fruit. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Josh is the son of Susan and Gus Heinicke. grower / Wenatchee, Washington age / 27 crops /

Michigan apple shippers combine forces

June 18th, 2019|0 Comments

Two Michigan apple shippers are joining forces on sales and marketing, BelleHarvest and Michigan Fresh Marketing announced in June. The combined sales force will represent about 150 growers and operate seven packing facilities in Michigan and Wisconsin, according to a news release from BelleHarvest, making it the second largest apple

  • D’Anjou pears from the 2015 harvest being packed in Peshastin, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Northwest fresh pear growers anticipate a solid crop

June 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Pear Bureau Northwest announced in a news release the first official fresh pear crop estimate for the 2019-20 season. Pear growers and producers from Washington’s Wenatchee and Yakima districts and Oregon’s Medford and Mid-Columbia districts anticipate harvesting 17.3 million 44-pound box equivalents, or approximately 380,000 tons of fresh pears. The

Cosmic Crisp partners with Crunch Pak and Litehouse

June 6th, 2019|0 Comments

Cosmic Crisp, the new apple variety developed by Washington State University as WA 38, will be part of a partnership with two refrigerated product companies: Crunch Pak, the sliced apple specialist, and Litehouse, known for its refrigerated salad dressings and innovative consumer packaged goods. According to a news release from

  • Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Seneca closing pear processing plant

June 5th, 2019|0 Comments

Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Northwest pear growers may respond to Seneca Foods closing its Sunnyside, Washington, processing plant by pulling out orchards as the pear industry

  • Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canners. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Seneca to close pear plant

May 2nd, 2019|0 Comments

Seneca Foods plans to close its Sunnyside, Washington, fruit processing facility in the fall after the 2019 pear harvest, leaving the Northwest with only two pear canneries. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) Seneca Foods is getting out of the processed pear business and will shutter its Sunnyside, Washington, plant

Arctic Fuji apple receives FDA approval

April 29th, 2019|0 Comments

The Arctic Fuji apple. (Courtesy Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.) Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., based in Summerland, British Columbia, announced its newest genetically modified, nonbrowning Arctic apple variety, Arctic Fuji, completed the voluntary review process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 26. Arctic Fuji is the

  • Earliblue blueberry growing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2011. The blueberry crop is booming in Oregon and Washington, which together make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. market. (Courtesy Lynn Ketchum/Oregon State University)

Record 2018 blueberry crop plants Oregon in No. 1 spot

March 19th, 2019|0 Comments

Earliblue blueberry growing in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in 2011. The blueberry crop is booming in Oregon and Washington, which together make up nearly 40 percent of the U.S. market. (Courtesy Lynn Ketchum/Oregon State University) In a surprise comeback, Oregon regained the top spot among the nation’s blueberry producers

Trade mitigation funds approved for Washington apples

February 26th, 2019|0 Comments

The Washington Apple Commission will receive nearly $8.5 million through the USDA Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funding program, according to a news release. The program is designed to help mitigate the damages from the additional trade tariffs imposed on Washington apples in several key export markets. ATP funding is a

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USApple announces 2019 Young Apple Leaders

February 15th, 2019|0 Comments

The U.S. Apple Association announced its class of 2019 Young Apple Leaders, a group of young women and men selected by the organization to join with and learn from USApple leaders as they advocate on issues impacting growers and the apple industry. “The 2019 Young Apple Leaders’ class is the

  • Attendees who braved the recent snowfall in the Pacific Northwest take a short break between sessions during the 2019 Washington Winegrowers Association convention and trade show on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. The main educational sessions take place here, on the ice of the Toyota Center at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Winegrowers kicks off

February 12th, 2019|0 Comments

Attendees who braved the recent snowfall in the Pacific Northwest take a short break between sessions during the 2019 Washington Winegrowers Association convention and trade show on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. The main educational sessions take place here, on the ice of the Toyota Center at the Three Rivers

BC Tree Fruits restructures

February 7th, 2019|0 Comments

International Fruit Tree Association tour attendees participate in a hard cider tasting session in July, 2018, highlighting BC Tree Fruits’ decision to open a cidery as a market for the cooperative’s commercial-grade fruit at its Kelowna, British Columbia, packing facility. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) BC Tree Fruits, which

Register now for WSU/OSU Cherry Fruit School, March 12-13

January 31st, 2019|0 Comments

Sweet cherry growers can learn about the latest research and technology at the upcoming Cherry Fruit School, From Bud to Bucket, hosted by Washington State University Tree Fruit Extension and Oregon State University Extension Service. The Cherry Fruit School is scheduled on March 12 and 13 at four locations: Wenatchee,

EverCrisp apple sales expanding to Texas

January 28th, 2019|0 Comments

Sales of the MAIA-1 apple variety, developed by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association and marketed as EverCrisp, have expanded to Texas. Described as sweet, juicy and firm, EverCrisp combines the best features of its parent varieties, Honeycrisp and Fuji, and is now in its second season selling at grocery stores.

  • USApple Association logo

Kurrle: 2019 brings challenges and opportunities

December 28th, 2018|0 Comments

From agricultural labor to farm bill programs, regulations and trade agreements, the policies and decisions made in Washington, D.C., impact your business every day. Responding to these critical issues and ensuring the “apple voice” is heard by members of Congress and the administration is a top priority for the USApple

President signs Farm Bill

December 20th, 2018|0 Comments

President Donald Trump on Thursday signed the $867 billion Farm Bill that Congress passed last week with bipartisan support. The five-year Farm Bill ensures several items of funding that affect the tree fruit industry. Among them are continued support of work to fight pests and diseases, enhancement of the National

  • Capitol Building Washington D.C. File photo

Congress passes $867 billion Farm Bill

December 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Today Congress passed an $867 billion Farm Bill with strong bipartisan support. The House of Representatives voted 386-47 in favor of the bill. The Senate passed the legislation in an 87-to-13 vote on Tuesday. “It will take us some time to wade through the bill and get to all the

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Dressel named chairperson of NYAA board

July 18th, 2018|0 Comments

Sarah Dressel of Dressel Farms in New Paltz, New York, has been named chairperson of the board of directors for the New York Apple Association, the organization that represents the 600 commercial apple growers in New York. In an announcement, NYAA President Cynthia Haskins called the appointment significant for NYAA

  • Steven Murray Jr. during the International Fruit Tree Association Summer Tour in the Napier, New Zealand area on February 26, 2018. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Steven Murray Jr., a young grower from Bakersfield, California

June 28th, 2018|0 Comments

family background / Steven has helped change Murray Family Farms’ business, adding farm markets and agritourism at locations in California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is the son of Steve and Vickie Murray. age / 32 crops / Cherries, diversified

‘Kia ora’ from a distant land

April 5th, 2018|0 Comments

The view south through the Motueka Valley at Birdhurst Orchard in Nelson, New Zealand in February 2018. Below, the first group of International Fruit Tree Association New Zealand Study Tour attendees learns about how the Wilkins brothers transitioned the farm from cattle and tobacco to 500 acres of Gala,

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Domex Superfresh appoints director of business development

March 8th, 2018|0 Comments

Paul Newstead has joined Domex Superfresh Growers as Director of Business Development. According to the company's news release: In this role, Newstead will be responsible for generating new customers and building existing Paul Newstead relationships across North America. To do this, he will leverage Superfresh Growers expansive line

Munch Madness? USApple rolls out pun-laden promotion

February 28th, 2018|0 Comments

Munch Madness has begun. The third annual promotion of the U.S. Apple Association pits apple varieties against each other in popular votes tournament-style. Munch Madness Organizers ask apple eaters to visit applevsapple.com to vote for their favorite varieties through the different stages of the tournament. The contest includes

  • The earliest advanced selection in 2015 was the R25, ripening within three days of Chelan.(Courtesy Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission)

Cherry and apricot marketing boards to make nominations

October 25th, 2017|0 Comments

Nominations for grower and handler positions on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee and Washington Apricot Marketing Committee will take place during industry meetings in January. The committees establish grade, size and pack regulations for fresh cherries and apricots from designated counties in Washington state.

  • Lynnell Brandt, left, president of Proprietary Variety Management, discusses licensing and grade standards of Cosmic Crisp apples during a field day in September in Quincy, Washington. At right is Ines Hanrahan, project manager for the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower)

Free event in Yakima for growers Sept. 21 on intellectual property management

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Lynnell Brandt, left, president of Proprietary Variety Management, discusses licensing and grade standards of Cosmic Crisp apples during a field day in September in Quincy, Washington. At right is Ines Hanrahan, project manager for the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. (Ross Courtney/Good Fruit Grower) A free Intellectual

  • Premier Honeycrisp ripens as much as two to three weeks before regular Honeycrisp. (Courtesy Adams County Nursery)

Honeycrisp sports race toward red

June 27th, 2017|1 Comment

Premier Honeycrisp ripens as much as two to three weeks before regular Honeycrisp. (Courtesy Adams County Nursery) New varieties aren’t the only things on growers’ minds. They are also thinking about upgrading their Honeycrisp to one of the sports that are all the rage. “What happens with the

  • The Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) has been busy with new varieties, including these two: the yellow Crunch-a-Bunch, which is popular in the cider arena, and the red Bakers Delight that has flavor likened to a strawberry milkshake. Both varieties were launched by Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. in mid-November. (Photo by Jen Nova, courtesy of Gardens Alive!)

Lots of new apples coming to market

June 26th, 2017|2 Comments

The Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) has been busy with new varieties, including these two: the yellow Crunch-a-Bunch, which is popular in the cider arena, and the red Bakers Delight that has flavor likened to a strawberry milkshake. Both varieties were launched by Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. in

Amazon purchase of Whole Foods a sign of big disruption in food retailing

June 16th, 2017|0 Comments

America’s grocery stores are undergoing tremendous change. Profits face downward pressure. Consumers are buying more from outside of traditional supermarkets. Online purveyors such as Blue Apron are on the rise. Two big German chains are expanding their presence in the U.S. Then there’s Amazon, the online juggernaut that has turned its

Chelan Fresh, Columbia Valley Fruit enter agreement

June 13th, 2017|0 Comments

Six weeks after announcing a merger with another fruit company, Chelan Fresh has entered into an exclusive marketing agreement with Columbia Valley Fruit of Union Gap, Washington. Under the agreement, Chelan fresh will be the exclusive marketer of Columbia Valley Fruit’s organic and conventional apples. The fruit will be marketed

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Ag groups respond to Trump’s proposed budget

May 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Here is an ongoing roundup of responses to President Donald Trump's federal budget proposal, which was released Tuesday, May 23. Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance: “We are very disappointed to see the President’s budget, released yesterday, call for draconian cuts, or even total elimination of programs that are important to

The buzz is growing for Cosmic Crisp

May 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Cosmic Crisp has been a huge topic among growers for years, and now the variety is gaining profile in the general media. National Public Radio sent a reporter to Wenatchee, Washington, to interview growers and researchers about the apple. That's helpful for Washington growers, who will have nine million Cosmic

  • Bottles of cider are displayed at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Lyndonville, New York, along with an ad marketing a sense of regional flavor. Experts suggest apple growers embrace their regional differences to capitalize on the surging growth of the market the same way grape growers market wines tied to the complex terroir of different regions in the wine industry. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Cider makers embrace regional variation

April 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Bottles of cider are displayed at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in Lyndonville, New York, along with an ad marketing a sense of regional flavor. Experts suggest apple growers embrace their regional differences to capitalize on the surging growth of the market the same way grape growers market wines tied

  • Young Apple Leaders meet with Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.).

Growers, packers meet with lawmakers

March 29th, 2017|0 Comments

Members of the Washington Apple Commission and Columbia Fruit Packers were among a group of apple industry leaders from across the country who met with members of Congress on March 23 in Washington, D.C. The meetings were part of the U.S. Apple Association's annual fly-in. Todd Fryhover and Lindsey Huber

Lacey Lybeck, a young grower from Pasco, Washington

March 15th, 2017|0 Comments

family background/ Lacey grew up working alongside her family on their farm Hulbert Farms and Skagit Seed Services in La Conner, Washington. age/27 grower/Pasco, Washington crops/grapes business/Vineyard Manager, Sagemoor Vineyards How did you get your start? As a recent graduate of Washington State University, I joined Ste. Michelle

Medford fresh pear handler nominations set

March 6th, 2017|0 Comments

An election for the Fresh Pear Committee handler position for Medford, Oregon, will be held March 28 in Medford, Oregon. The election for the two-year term will be at 2 p.m. at Naumes, Inc. (2 W. Barnett Street) in Medford. The position is held by Laura Naumes, with Mike Naumes and Gerald May as first and second

Pear handler election set for Wenatchee, Washington

March 2nd, 2017|0 Comments

Pear handlers will elect nominees for the Wenatchee, Washington, district position on the Fresh Pear Committee of Marketing Order 927. The position will be filled at the Washington Pear Marketing Association meeting at noon on March 28 at the Washington Apple Commission conference room. The Apple Commission is located at 2900

Sweethearts beat Bings in 2016 cherry shipping numbers

January 27th, 2017|0 Comments

For the first year ever, Bing was not king. In 2016, Northwest cherry growers shipped more Sweetheart cherries than any other variety, including the historically dominant Bing, according to a board of directors update from the Washington State Fruit Commission. The Northwest cherry industry shipped 3.49 million 20-pound box equivalents

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Moffitt: All pears, all the time

January 13th, 2017|0 Comments

The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year. Kevin Moffitt We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears

  • Photos courtesy of Pear Bureau Northwest A boy chomps into a pear slice at a stop in China along the USA Pear Road Show, a promotion of Pear Bureau Northwest. In a routine vote, growers in Washington and Oregon are being asked to approve continuing the marketing order that allows such generic promotions. (Courtesy Pear Bureau Northwest)

Moffitt: All pears, all the time

January 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Kevin Moffitt The Pear Bureau is celebrating 85 years of promoting the beautiful and delicious pears nurtured by our growers in Washington and Oregon each year. We employ a variety of proven and effective tools, techniques and strategies designed to increase consumer awareness and consumption of Northwest pears

Public input requested on labor practices charter

January 6th, 2017|0 Comments

The Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association are seeking public input on a draft framework for responsible labor practices in the fresh produce and floral supply chains. The boards of the two groups established a joint committee last year to look into the issue amid growing interest in

Mid-Columbia pear grower position up for nomination

January 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Pear growers will elect nominees for positions on the Fresh Pear Committee (FPC) of Marketing Order #927.  The committee is responsible for the collection of assessments for research, and the promotion and advertising of all pears marketed in the domestic and export markets. The FPC grower position for the Mid-Columbia

  • Getting involved with industry groups. Fruit growers have numerous opportunities to be involved in everything from policy setting to marketing decisions. Here’s a rundown of some places to get involved. For those outside the Northwest, look for similar opportunities in your region.

Industry groups lend plenty of opportunities for growers to get involved

December 29th, 2016|0 Comments

In Washington’s tree fruit industry, three state commissions, four federal marketing orders, numerous nonprofit associations and a few advisory committees all intertwine to create a network of industry organizations to support growers. All that representation, with their acronyms, subcommittees and meeting schedules, provide places for growers to get involved and

  • Yakima Convention Center (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

2017 Cherry Institute will be held Jan. 20 — Pear, WSFC nominations at annual meetings

December 14th, 2016|0 Comments

Cherry Institute at the Yakima Convention Center (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower file photo) The 74th annual Cherry Institute is set for Jan. 20, 2017, at the Yakima Convention Center in Yakima, Washington. The program, which begins at 8:30 a.m., will highlight trellis engineering, platform use, powdery mildew, the

  • Sam Godwin, opens the 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo on December 5, 2016, in Wenatchee, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Day 1, Washington hort show, morning summary – Video

December 5th, 2016|0 Comments

Sam Godwin, opens the 112th Annual Meeting and Northwest Hort Expo on December 5, 2016, in Wenatchee, Washington. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower) Speakers hammered away at the theme of “change” to kick off the 112th annual meeting of the Washington tree fruit industry. Change in a U.S. president.