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Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission Hires Special Projects Coordinator

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Rob Curtiss began work as Special Projects Coordinator at the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (WTFRC) on February 20.

Mr. Curtiss has a M.S. degree in entomology from WSU in 2008.  He spent the last five years as an entomologist with the state of Hawaii focused on helping the state and its citizens address invasive species and other pest issues.  In that role, he worked with the general public, growers, research organizations, regulatory agencies and the US military to address emerging pest issues such as coffee berry borer, coconut rhinoceros beetle and little fire ant.  As part of his job responsibilities, he managed sizable grant-funded projects, supervised large numbers of employees, and served as a media contact for these efforts.

“We are very pleased to have Rob working for us to initially take on a number of projects aimed at enhancing communication between the WTFRC and our industry, as well as helping the Commission communicate the industry’s priorities to the tree fruit research community,” according to Mike Willett, WTFRC manager.  Willett notes that Curtiss “will also work to help the Commission implement a longer-term management plan for industry-owned orchard property around the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) laboratory at Parker Heights in the lower Yakima Valley.”  The property was originally acquired by Washington State growers to allow the ARS to replace an existing insect research facility in the city of Yakima by deeding a portion of the property purchase to USDA as a site for a new laboratory.

Curtiss will work from the WTFRC’s Wenatchee office located at 1719 Springwater Avenue and can be reached at (509)665-8271ext 3.

For more information contact:

Mike Willett

1719 Springwater Avenue

Wenatchee, Washington 98801


Washington State University