Good Fruit Grower

February 15

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6 FEBRUARY 15, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER the advertising agency Weber-Shandwick to carry it out. The chief goal of CMI is to expand sales and use of tart cherries. Cherry Person of the Year T he Cherry Marketing Institute also recognized Randy Willmeng, a cherry grower from Lawton, who farms with his wife, Linda, and son, Marc, who rep- resents the fifth generation on the family farm. Randy has owned it since 1989. Will- meng, who chairs the CMI, was named Cherry Person of the Year by the National Cherry Festival Committee. The institute's festival committee presented the Very Cherry Promotion Award to Jennifer Berkey, Michigan State University extension educator in Traverse City. Jerome and Maryann Kolarik won the lifetime achievement award for their many years of growing cherries in Leelanau County. National Cherry Queen Sonya Sayler, daughter of Richard and Donna Sayler, also spoke. Age 23 and a personal fitness trainer, she's part of the fifth generation at a Williamsburg tart cherry farm. Her older sister Angela was the 2009 National Cherry Queen. The Cherry Queen and the Cherry Person of the Year are chosen during the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. This year's festival will be held July 5-12. Archer crowned King J im Archer was honored for a lifelong career in Washington State's tree fruit indus- try when he was crowned Cherry King. The honor is bestowed on those who have provided exemplary service to the Northwest sweet cherry industry. B.J. Thurlby, president of Northwest Cherry Growers, performed the corona- tion during the annual Cherry Institute meeting held in Yakima, Washington, in early January. Selection is made by previous Cherry Kings. "Archer has had a critical impact on increasing opportunity for success for all Northwest cherry growers," said Thurlby during the presentation. Archer was manager of the North- west Fruit Exporters for nearly 20 years. At NFE he worked on market access issues for cherries and apples and helped develop the systems approach work plan for Northwest cherries to enter the Japa- nese market without fumigation, the access plan for cherries to be shipped to Australia, and harmonization of cherry fumigation temperatures for export to Japan, Korea, and Australia. Archer retired from the Northwest Fruit Exporters at the end of 2013. Before that, he spent 27 years with the Washington State Department of Agriculture in the produce inspection department, retiring from WSDA after he was program man- ager of the fruit and vegetable inspection division based in Olympia. While at WSDA, he worked with Japanese officials and Northwest cherry shippers to help certify shipping facilities and fumigation chambers as part of the Japanese protocol. He received the Governor's Distinguished Management Leadership Award in 1989 and the Director's Award for Outstanding Performance in 1993 for his dedication to excellence. Archer grew up in Wapato, Washington, and entered the tree fruit industry as a teen- ager, lighting smudge pots for local tree fruit growers. Later, he worked at the Yakima Fruit Growers Association, known as the Big Y. When that group merged with the Yakima County Horticultural Union and became Snokist Growers, he worked as bookkeeper at Snokist's Sawyer plant, eventually serving as assistant to the head sales manager for Snokist. He left Snokist in 1966 to work for WSDA. Jim Archer, 2014 Cherry King Cherry Queen Sonya Sayler

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