The Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission announced the termination of apple and pear assessments for the Washington State University Tree Fruit Endowment, effective Jan. 21. According to a news release, the entire $32 million endowment will be fully funded this month.

In 2012 and 2013, Washington apple, pear, cherry and soft fruit (peach, nectarine, apricot, prune and plum) growers agreed to fund a $32 million endowment at WSU. The endowment was created to fund and hire six new tree fruit scientists as endowed chairs, fill four extension/outreach positions and provide funding for facility improvements at the research and extension centers in Prosser and Wenatchee.

Cherry growers fixed their contribution at $5 million, a goal which was met with the assessments from the 2018 cherry crop, and fund collection was terminated for all cherry and soft fruit handlers effective April 1, 2019, according to the release.

“On behalf of Washington State University and the research community at large, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission would like to thank all growers for their generous support,” said Ines Hanrahan, executive director of the research commission, in the news release.

—by Jonelle Mejica