A Look At Apple Grower Of The Year Winners 1989-2019 [Slideshow]

When American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazines’ Apple Grower of the YearSM  award was launched in 1989, editor Gary Acuff wrote: “In creating the ‘Apple Grower of the Year’ recognition, American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower magazines saw a need to identify apple growers who have gone beyond the confines of the orchard and have, through their involvement and leadership, made a real impact on the apple industry. No other national recognition exclusively geared for apple growers exists.”


John Rice was selected as the inaugural winner for serving as a spokesperson of for growers in light of the Alar crisis.

“Rice exemplifies the involved, dedicated individual American Fruit Grower and Western Fruit Grower magazines had in mind when creating the award. He has made a difference in the industry, and sets an example that other growers can follow,” Acuff writes.

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. We present a look at past winners of this prestigious award.

Here is the complete list of American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower®  magazines’ Apple Grower of the YearSM winners: