The following individuals were honored at the 111th Annual Meeting of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association:
– Silver Apple Award:
Del Feigal, president of orchard management for Auvil Fruit Company
Feigal began managing orchards in high school, when his father gave him responsibility for three acres of Golden Delicious.
After his graduation in 1985 from Eastmont High School in East Wenatchee, he enrolled in the horticulture program at Wenatchee Valley College, which led to jobs managing orchard operations, a stint as a consultant with G.S. Long, and then Auvil.
Feigal became Auvil’s president of orchard management in 2014.
In that role, he oversees close to 2,000 acres of fruit. At two main locations in Orondo and Vantage, the company grows Aurora Golden Gala, Braeburn, Cripps Pink, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples and Rainier, Bing and Lapin cherries.
– Silver Pear Award:
Don Gibson, Mt. Adams Orchard president, White Salmon, Washington
Gibson worked in banking before moving to Anheuser-Busch, then to the pear industry, where he has been involved in the growing, packing, processing and marketing of pears.
He is a past president of the Yakima Pom Club and, since 1997, has served on the Northwest Horticultural Council’s Science Advisory Committee. For years, he has also been heavily involved with Pear Bureau Northwest as an important voice for the pear industry.
“I love the transparency of this industry, for everyone shares information,” Gibson said in accepting the award.
Washington Tree Fruit Distinguished Service Award:
Geraldine Warner of Good Fruit Grower
Warner has written for Good Fruit Grower since 1987 and served as its editor since 1992. She grew up in Yorkshire, England. She studied journalism at Richmond College, Sheffield, and at the University of Missouri-Columbia under a Rotary International Scholarship.
Warner has worked for UNESCO’s educational journal Prospects in Paris, France, as well as for newspapers and magazines in England and the United States.
Warner is a graduate of the leadership program of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation. She received the Washington State Horticultural Association’s Women’s Leadership Through Service Award in 1996 and the association’s Silver Apple Award in 2002.
– Latino Leadership Award:
Ofelio Borges, Flor Servin, Jaime Ramon and Ramón Benavides of the WSDA Farmworker Education Team.
Since 2000, the Farmworker Education Team has provided hand-on training to nearly 20,000 people, on everything from worker protection standards to respirator use. “They’re not just numbers,” said Karen Lewis, WSU Extension specialist. “These are people changing lives.”
– Grower of the Year
Good Fruit Grower also awarded Brenton Roy of Oasis Farms in Prosser with the 2015 Grower of the Year award. (Read the story: Fruitful fortitude.)
– by Shannon Dininny