Washington is world-renowned for producing the highest quality apples, pears, and cherries. Premier growing regions coupled with a progressive industry continue to position Washington as the No. 1 producer of quality tree fruit in the world. With an economic impact of more than $6 billion to the state of Washington, the tree fruit industry is a driving force in the agricultural sector and the state. Still, the industry faces significant challenges growing premium target fruit while maintaining profitability: Water, labor, food safety legislation, minimum residue levels, and invasive new pests, to name a few.
As a valuable and committed partner to the industry, Washington State University works to meet these challenges head on. The WSU Campaign for Tree Fruit poises the industry to have the number 1 tree fruit research and outreach system in the world, located strategically in Washington’s growing regions. At the heart of the campaign is a series of strategic investments in both Prosser and Wenatchee Research and Extension Centers. The campaign has been ignited by a transformational investment from Washington apple and pear growers of $27 million. This is part of a larger campaign goal of $42 million that will attract world class researchers, outreach specialists, develop and operate modern research orchards, and provide opportunities to educate the next generation of tree fruit leaders. Investing in the Campaign for Tree Fruit not only galvanizes a robust future for the tree fruit industry in research and innovation, but provides a lasting legacy for generations to come.