Good Fruit Grower

January 2014

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GOOD JOB Industry people Silver Pear K ent Christensen, president of Indepenin the dent Warehouse, Inc., in Dryden, Washington, news. received the Washington State Horticultural Association's Silver Pear Award during the association's annual meeting in December. Incoming Hort President Steve Zediker, presented the award in recognition of Christensen's many years of work on behalf of the Pacific Northwest pear industry. Christensen, 77, grew up on his parents' orchard near Dryden and earned a degree in horticulture from Washington State University. He then worked at the orchards of his parents and his father-in-law, Richard Remley. It was his dream in college to be a fruit packer, and he and his father-in-law built a small packing and cold storage facility. In 1974, three families established Independent Warehouse, Inc., of which he has been owner, president, and manager ever since. Although his son Craig and son-in-law Ken Jackson are involved in the business, Christensen still goes to work every day. "I tell people I've been semi-retired for 20 years," he told Good Fruit Grower. "I just enjoy it. I like talking to all the people we deal with in the market, and it's a challenging, interesting business." Christensen served as an alternate member on the board of the Pear Bureau Northwest for 13 years in the 1980s and 1990s and was chair in 1999-2001. He also Kent Christensen (left) receives the Washington State Horticultural Association's Silver Pear award from incoming president Steve Zediker. Ray Fuller Ralph Broetje Phyllis Gleasman Deborah Carter served as an alternate or member of the Winter Pear Control Committee and was chair in 1996-1998. Silver Apple R ay Fuller of Chelan, one of the first certified organic apple growers in Washington State, received the Silver Apple Award. Fuller has been growing fruit organically since the early 1980s. He took over the family orchard after graduating from Washington State University with a degree in agriculture and now has 115 acres of organic apples, pears, and cherries. Over the years, he has invited many different scientists to do trials in his orchard on such topics as mating disruption, new rootstocks, control of replant disease, and thinning. Fuller has been active in the tree fruit industry, serving on the Hort Association's board and WSU's advisory board to the College of Agriculture, Human, and Natural Resources. He has been an advocate for the organic industry and received the Organic Trade Association's Organic Farming Leadership Award in 2008. Hispanic leadership R alph Broetje of Broetje Orchards in Prescott, Washington, received the Latino Leadership Award. Leo Garcia, director of Wenatchee Valley College's bilingual education programs, who presented the award, described Broetje as a person who quietly does great things. "He is one of the least ostentatious people I have ever known," he said. Broetje had a dream when he was 15 years old of having an orchard and using the proceeds to help other people. He provides his workers with job security, family-friendly policies, health care, educational opportunities, and seasonal and permanent housing, Garcia said. Besides supporting his own workers, he is involved in mission projects in the United States and overseas. He helped launch the Spanish session at the Hort Association's annual meeting 21 years ago. Women's leadership O rchardist Phyllis Gleasman of Chelan, Washington, received the Women's Leadership Through Service Award. Gleasman has worked since 1980 for Chelan Fruit Cooperative, starting out as an administrative assistant. She is now the company's internal GlobalGAP inspector and is in charge of its GRAS2P pilot program training and industry education. She is a graduate of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation's leadership program and served as foundation president in 2000-2001. She was a board member of the Washington Growers 6 JANUARY 1, 2014 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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