2020 Young Apple Leaders: Carley Brown

Carley Brown has seen the tree fruit industry from many different angles—from night shifts in cherry warehouses, to getting fruit from packing house to grocery store. We’re excited to welcome her to the 2020 class of Young Apple Leaders.

USApple Elects Steve Clement as Board Chair for 2023-2024 Term

Chicago (August 18, 2023) — The U.S. Apple Association (USApple) has named a new chair to lead its Board of Directors. Washington grower and shipper Steve Clement, CEO of Sage Fruit Company, will serve the 2023-24 term.  Sage Fruit Company, based in Yakima, WA, has five warehouse/packing partners and ships more than $280 million of fresh … Continued

USApple Elects Chris Alpers as Board Chair for 2021-22 Term

Chicago (August 20, 2021) —The U.S. Apple Association has named a new chair to lead its board of directors. Michigan grower Chris Alpers of RedPath Orchards and Alpers Farms will serve the 2021-22 term. A third-generation grower, Alpers is the operations manager of RedPath Orchards and Alpers Farms and a partner in Alpers Tree Sales … Continued

President Biden Visits USApple Member; Hears About Grower Challenges

Falls Church, Va. (July 6, 2021)—During a stop in Northern Michigan this weekend President Biden visited grower and former Young Apple Leader Juliette King McAvoy of King Orchards in Central Lake.  Joining the President were Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters. Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. They talked about big … Continued

USApple Passes Gavel to New Board Chair

Falls Church, Va. (Sept. 10, 2019) —The U.S. Apple Association has named a new chair to lead its board of directors. Mike Preacher, a marketing executive for one of the country’s leading fruit grower and shipping companies, will serve the 2020-21 term. Preacher is the marketing director of Domex Superfresh Growers, a fifth-generation, family-owned, agricultural company … Continued

Harvest Photo Contest

USApple is holding a photo contest to celebrate the 2020 apple harvest! Throughout the season, we encourage members to submit your best-of-the-best harvest photo, which will be posted on USApple’s social media sites and voted on by the public in mid-October. The top three winners will be announced on Oct. 21, National Apple Day—and will … Continued

2020 Young Apple Leaders: Rob Verbridge

Rob Verbridge of J.H. Verbridge & Son Inc. is a fifth-generation apple grower. His family’s farm was founded more than 120 years ago, making this Young Apple Leader a natural successor to his family’s apple-growing legacy. Though Verbridge has been following in his father’s footsteps around the family orchard for as long as he can … Continued

2020 Young Apple Leaders: Alex Buck

“Most people start as a grower. I’ve started on the other side and worked my way back to the growers,” says Young Apple Leader Alex Buck.  Buck started his career in produce with the retail chain Giant Eagle. There, he found his passion, which led to a role in wholesale. Though the standard practice at … Continued

2020 Young Apple Leaders: Sara Wells

Sara Wells is part of the rare bunch that fell into the apple industry by chance. When she applied to her current role through a staffing agency, she did not anticipate a career in the apple industry, let alone becoming so deeply involved that she is now a Young Apple Leader.  “When I went into … Continued

2020 Young Apple Leaders: Gilbert Plath

Gilbert Plath followed in his father’s footsteps through Washington apple orchards for much of his early life. His father was the head grower at Washington Fruit for many years, and Plath often spent time shadowing his father as he would advise growers.  After earning a degree in Business Economics from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., … Continued

2020 Young Apple Leaders: Carley Brown

The summer Carley Brown graduated high school, she started 80-hour workweeks at Legacy Fruit Packers in Wapato, Wash.. As a daughter of fruit growers, she was familiar with the hard work of the cherry line.  After three summers, Brown was moved from the day shift to the night shift. She went from processing the paperwork … Continued