2011 Apple Grower Of The Year Finalists

Competition for this year’s Apple Grower of the Year Award was fierce, and although Mo Tougas took top honors, the growers listed below also had outstanding nominations. We’d like to recognize these four finalists for exhibiting all the qualities of a top apple grower, and for all their contributions to the U.S. apple industry. The information provided comes directly from those who nominated each finalist.

Todd Davis, Davis Orchards Inc.
Milton-Freewater, OR

Todd Davis is president and manager of Davis Orchards Inc., a third generation family-owned apple growing and packing operation. Davis Orchards grows and packs more than 250,000 boxes of high-quality apples annually. The apples are marketed under the Star Ranch label. Todd is the ongoing president of the Blue Mountain Horticulture Society and a member of the Washington State Horticultural Society. He has been a champion and supporter of several programs to develop and implement integrated pest management techniques in the Walla Walla Valley and has facilitated close collaboration with the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Department of Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources Conservation Service. Indeed, Todd was instrumental in Davis Orchards receiving the Umatilla County Soil and Water Conservation District of the Year, 2010 award. Todd is on the leading edge of high-density orchard design and implementation, composting, soil solutions, and the use of soil and weather monitoring stations to fine tune pest and disease modeling in conjunction with OSU and Washington State University researchers and Extension.

Carolyn McQuistin
Enon Valley, PA

Carolyn is a second generation apple grower who is a very innovative and successful grower and marketer. She is active in the State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania, as well as Greenstar Cooperative in Greenford, OH. After the sudden unexpected death of her husband more than 15 years ago, Carolyn continued to carry on the orchard and has done a wonderful job of management and using state-of-the-art growing methods for both peaches and apples. She could have just as easily walked away after Kevin’s death, but she chose to carry on and she has been quite successful. Her children are involved in the operation, as well. I feel she would be an excellent choice for this honor.

Fritz Wafler
Wolcott, NY

Fritz Wafler, 83, passed away on March 11, 2011. Fritz was an icon in the New York apple industry, as well as a respected grower and horticulturist in the national apple industry. Everyone that knew Fritz, and most growers did, knew him for his great knowledge of apple farming and for his entrepreneur qualities that helped build his family farm and nursery business from scratch. He emigrated from Switzerland in 1952. Wafler Farms, situated just a few miles from Lake Ontario, is a cutting edge and progressive operation that has partnered with other growers to build CA storages and packing facilities. Wafler Nurseries is a leading apple nursery in the Northeast, known for high quality and high standards, both characteristics taught by Fritz. He led a number of fruit grower tours to Europe to learn more about growing apples.

Fritz began growing trees for himself when he could not buy trees on the new semi-dwarfing and dwarfing rootstocks. Neighbors wanted a few also and this eventually grew into a large part of the business.

Cordell Watt
Gore, VA

At Timber Ridge Fruit Farm, Cordell is a very mindful and progressive grower. He keeps his trees uniform and at a manageable size for harvesting and spraying while still allowing for maximum fruit production. As an innovator, Cordell has his own fresh market packing shed where he packages apples and sells to other farm markets and stores in the state. Instead of trying to boil the ocean, he has taken a select approach to the market, developing his own niche.

Some processing growers continue to scale back or disappear. Cordell has adapted his operation to newer markets. He has adopted new, “reduced risk” chemistry, such as Altacor (chlorantraniliprole, DuPont Crop Protection) and Delegate (spinetoram, Dow AgroSciences), which are softer on beneficial insects. Cordell has stepped up and is implementing apple and peach field trials developed by Virginia Tech to help find ways to control and manage the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB). These trials will be monitored and evaluated, providing information that will be critical in the future as we continue to battle against BMSB. Cordell also serves on the Frederick County Fruit Growers Association.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

Apple Grower of the Year Stories
Scott McDougall 2016 Apple Grower of the Year
Apple Grower of the Year
August 15, 2016
A Look At Apple Grower Of The Year Winners 1989-2016 [Slideshow]
Since 1989, American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower magazines have honored influential apple growers such as Grady Auvil, George Lamont, Bill Zirkle, and Ralph Broetje. American and Western Fruit Grower presents a look at past winners of this prestigious award. Read More
2012 Yakima,  WA Apple Orchard - Feature
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2016
Future Moves Fast In Apple Production [Opinion]
The Washington apple industry’s rapid change is evident during my many trips to the state in the past 20 years. Read More
(Photo credit: David Eddy)
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2016
A Thoroughly Modern Farmer Takes Apple Grower Of The Year Honor
The 2016 winner, Scott McDougall, largely stopped planting the tried and true, going mostly with exclusive and club varieties – and it paid off. Read More
Bill Dodd - Apple Grower of the Year 2015
Apple Grower of the Year
October 2, 2015
2015 Apple Crop Forecast: Sunny
Crop is down from last year's record; new varieties drive consumption. Read More
Auto Draft
Apple Grower of the Year
September 11, 2015
Plenty Of Highlights From 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year Presentation
Bill Dodd, owner of Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst, OH, was honored as American Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2015 Apple Grower of Read More
Associate Editor Christina Herrick and Editor David Eddy visit with  grower Bill Dodd at his orchard in Amherst, OH. (Photo credit: Maggie Puskas)
Apple Grower of the Year
August 3, 2015
Bill Dodd Is An Apple Grower For Our Future
The judging for the Apple Grower Of The Year award is an interesting process that takes us through new twists Read More
“The thing about networking is, no matter how smart you are, there’s always someone smarter. You can’t predict how it will work out, but the more people you know, the better chance you have of finding success.” - Bill Dodd, 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year
Apple Grower of the Year
August 3, 2015
Bill Dodd, The 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year
  Informed of his selection as the 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year by American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower™ Read More
The Latest
Apple Grower of the Year
September 19, 2016
2016 USApple Conference: Promising Crop,…
Wenatchee, WA grower honored; only blemish on apple crop is the drought that shrank the harvest in the Northeast. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 27, 2016
Rock Steady U.S. Apple Crop Forecast
USApple predicts 2016 output will be just slightly higher than in 2015. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2016
Apple Crop Forecasts Live On Twitter
You'll be able to get up-to-the-minute reports of not only the various regions of the U.S., but key production regions around the world. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 15, 2016
A Look At Apple Grower Of The Year Winne…
Since 1989, American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower magazines have honored influential apple growers such as Grady Auvil, George Lamont, Bill Zirkle, and Ralph Broetje. American and Western Fruit Grower presents a look at past winners of this prestigious award. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2016
Future Moves Fast In Apple Production [O…
The Washington apple industry’s rapid change is evident during my many trips to the state in the past 20 years. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2016
A Thoroughly Modern Farmer Takes Apple G…
The 2016 winner, Scott McDougall, largely stopped planting the tried and true, going mostly with exclusive and club varieties – and it paid off. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
October 2, 2015
2015 Apple Crop Forecast: Sunny
Crop is down from last year's record; new varieties drive consumption. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
September 11, 2015
Plenty Of Highlights From 2015 Apple Gro…
Bill Dodd, owner of Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst, OH, was honored as American Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2015 Apple Grower of Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 3, 2015
Bill Dodd Is An Apple Grower For Our Fut…
The judging for the Apple Grower Of The Year award is an interesting process that takes us through new twists Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 3, 2015
Bill Dodd, The 2015 Apple Grower Of The …
  Informed of his selection as the 2015 Apple Grower Of The Year by American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower™ Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
April 24, 2015
Terhune Orchards Celebrates 40th Anniver…
It’s a Mount-u-mental celebration for the 2005 Apple Grower Of The Year and family. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 19, 2014
Get The Latest News On The Nation’s Appl…
American and Western Fruit Grower editors will be tweeting in real time this week from the Apple Crop Outlook & Marketing Conference. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 11, 2014
A Look At Evans Fruit Company Through Th…
2014 Apple Growers of The Year Bill and Jeannette Evans share photos from the early days of Evans Fruit Company. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 8, 2014
2014 Apple Grower of The Year Runners-Up
While there can be only one 2014 Apple Grower of the Year presentation, these three nominees were certainly worthy finalists. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2014
Apple Growers Of The Year: An Unmatched …
Bill and Jeannette Evans started with nothing, and just kept adding, and adding, and adding. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
June 11, 2014
Don’t Miss The Apple Grower Of The Year …
The 2014 Apple Grower of the Year will be presented on Thursday, Aug. 21 during USApple's Apple Crop Outlook and Marketing Conference. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2013
Cordell Watt: 2013 Apple Grower Of The Y…
Watt has found success by identifying which varieties and production practices work best for his location. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 1, 2013
Apple Grower Of The Year Finalists
The editors of American/Western Fruit Grower were blown away with the number of nominees for this year’s Apple Grower of Read More