The Core Quarterly


Key updates from the USApple team, every quarter.

Q1 2024

Q1 2024 |


Conference Circuit

Busy with the winter conference circuit, USApple attended and presented at myriad sessions throughout the U.S:

  • Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Expo in Hershey, PA
  • 2024 Ohio Produce Network conference in Columbus, OH
  • IFTA 2024 Annual Conference in Yakima, WA
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension, Western NY Fruit Conference in Rochester, NY
  • Southeast Winter Apple School in Hendersonville, NC
  • Winchester Regional Commercial Tree Fruit Production School in Winchester, VA

Q1 2024 |


Government Affairs Committee Meeting

In January, USApple’s Government Affairs Committee met in Washington, D.C. to discuss legislative issues and set priorities for the year. Chaired by USApple Vice Chairman, Brett Baker of New York, the Committee includes representatives from Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. Agriculture labor and the upcoming Farm Bill debate dominated the discussion.

Q1 2024 |


Cinnamon Applesauce Recall

USApple has stayed on top of the national recall of cinnamon applesauce pouches, informing members of any updates to the FDA’s investigation and keeping our Backgrounder updated with the latest. In February, USApple engaged with the New York Times newsroom, citing concerns about the Times’ headlines not accurately highlighting that cinnamon, not apples, led to the adulteration of these products.

Read the Latest Here

Q1 2024 |


Health and Nutrition Campaign

In February, USApple kicked off “Core Health” – a social media campaign promoting the health benefits of eating apples. 

All of February and March, we posted every Friday highlighting a new health benefit with a short, fun, shareable video. The focus was on nutritional aspects that are of great interest to consumers – like cancer prevention, boosting brain health, and fighting depression.

We encouraged members to repost and engage with USApple’s channels, or to post the videos directly to their own channels using our toolkit.

Q1 2024 |


New Class of NextGen Apple Fellows

In January we announced the 2024 Class of NextGen Apple Fellows:

  • Amanda VanBergen
    Laboratory Technician, Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc. (MI)
  • Austin Benson
    Export Sales, Chelan Fresh (WA)
  • Brannon Frankel
    Fixed Asset Manager. AgriMACS, Inc. (WA)
  • Joseph Strippoli
    Orchard Manager, Geig’s Orchard (OH)
  • Madison Schaefer
    SafePod Account Manager, Storage Control Systems, Inc. (MI)
  • Max Farrell
    H-2A Account Executive, Seso Labor (Texas)
  • Shelby Miller
    Marketing & Sales Specialist, Applewood Fresh (Michigan)

With the help of the USApple NextGen Advisory Committee, chaired by Liz Pauls, each fellow went through an extensive application and interview process. We received many highly-qualified candidates this year. The class kicked off their program in Washington D.C. for Capitol Hill Day. We introduced each fellow on our Instagram.

Q1 2024 |


Capitol Hill Day

On March 19, more than 70 apple leaders across 12 states gathered for USApple’s annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington D.C.

Briefing Breakfast: The day kicked off with a breakfast briefing from Senator John Boozman, the senior Senator from Arkansas. Senator Boozman is the Ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee and will become the Chairman if the Republicans win the Senate in November. He provided an update on the status of work on the Farm Bill and acknowledged the challenges facing specialty crops, like apples, particularly with labor. Attendees shared examples of rapidly increasing labor costs impacting their viability.

Capitol Hill: Collectively, apple leaders met with nearly 75 House and Senate offices, making a strong case for agriculture labor reform, a robust Farm Bill, and the importance of the export market. 

USDA Meeting: The USApple Board of Directors met with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, and key members of his senior leadership. They discussed market access issues and the need for agriculture labor reform. Read more in our press release or see the following press coverage of the event: 

PAC Reception: After Capitol Hill Day, attendees were invited to attend a USApple Political Action Committee (PAC) reception. Congresswoman Kim Schrier (D-WA) was our guest this year. Congresswoman Schrier is a pragmatist who works with both Republicans and Democrats and is a leader in our Farm Bill and agriculture labor efforts. It was a successful event. Our PAC helps us try to re-elect Members of Congress who have proven themselves to be supporters of the apple industry. 

Social Media Promotion: We were very pleased to see so many attendees share pictures and social media messages about the need for ag labor reform, utilizing the hashtag #USApple24Flyin. We were able to amplify our messaging on Capitol Hill in the digital space, reaching more people – power in numbers! 

Q1 2024 |


New USApple Charts

As USApple members took their message directly to lawmakers on Capitol Hill during the fly-in, brand new charts from USApple Director of Industry Analytics, Chris Gerlach, quickly and effectively communicated the urgency and severity of the current challenges facing the industry.

The charts illustrate the following: As this industry knows very well, production is increasing, exports are declining, and prices are falling too. Unfortunately, production costs to grow those apples – already paid for before harvest – have been going through the roof. The primary factor driving those costs are the sizable and inevitable increases in the H-2A labor rates – the only currently viable source of skilled, seasonal employment. The industry has been pushed past the tipping point where, for many growers this season, expenses will far exceed revenues. This is not sustainable and it is in the power of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to come together and make the necessary changes.

You can also find and download the high-res PDF here. We encourage use back at home in conversations with friends, neighbors and especially lawmakers at all levels of government. 

Key Industry Metrics

Q1 2024 |


Third Largest
Apple producer worldwide

U.S. production in lbs
Acres of apple trees require pollination each year
U.S. apple producers represented
$23 Billion
Economic output
$8 Billion
In total wages