Twenty-nine-year-old Mark Stennes plans to keep his roots planted in the family business. Stennes Orchards, Inc. and its subsidiary company, Cascade Crest Organics, currently operates 100 acres of apples and grows six apple varieties, including Fuji, Honeycrisp and this month’s spotlight, Golden Delicious. In addition to apples, Stennes Orchards also grows over 225 additional acres of pears, cherries and pluots.
The fourth-generation orchardist, whose apple-growing heritage dates back to 1900, credits his father for getting him and his twin brother involved at a young age. “Dad made it fun,” he says. “We were allowed to help make decisions, even in high school.”
Both Mark and his brother pursued business degrees from Central Washington University in Wenatchee, Wash. Staying close to home allowed the brothers to maintain a vital role in the orchard during their college years, and helped ensure a smooth transition back to the farm.
Thoroughly enjoying the flexibility of running his own business and being a steward of the land, Mark says he would like to see his own children follow in his footsteps: “I hope our legacy continues for at least four more generations!”