WSTFA Annual Meeting Recap

We have an answer to the question of the week "Who Won the Sprayer?"

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Strand Apples was the winner of this year's sprayer raffle! Congratulations to them and thank you to all who purchased tickets this year! Truly, the real winners are the young people in our communities who benefit from your generosity. 

 This is the 24th year of the sprayer raffle. We have so much gratitude for the Rear family at Rears Manufacturing for their annual contribution of the sprayer for this annual meeting tradition.  And a special thank you to Mike Rear for representing his family at the event!

 WAEF Alumni Breakfast

The biggest and best yet! Over 20 WAEF scholarship alumni gathered Tuesday morning to network and share advice with the four current students also attending the conference. 

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 Those attending had industry roles as crop consultants, researchers, HR managers, accountants, sales, ranch managers, grower representatives and more. Their advice for current students included wise words such as: attend class, use the resources offered by WAEF, meet people & ask questions, explore the fields within the industry, be open-minded to new opportunities, stay loyal when you find the right fit and more. This event is now in its fourth year.

You Did It!

The match was made and we took a few minutes to celebrate the generosity of donors and sponsors to the Donate A Bin promotion. 

 Thank you to all who participated in raising $30,000 to use toward student success!

 Industry Awards Banquet & Auction

It was a special evening Tuesday night with about 300 guests recognizing their peers and industry friends at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association Industry Awards Banquet. Following WSTFA special recognition of Washington Fruit & Produce, Mike Willett, Bruce Grim, Ken Johnson, Mario Molina, Ralph & Cheryl Broetje for their outstanding practices and contributions, WAEF had a live auction led by WAEF alum and current foundation board member Kailan Dunn.

 Seven live auction items raised over $13,000 with participants enjoying a few laughs, some cheers for top bidders and an enjoyable close to the special ceremony. Our thanks to Kailan Dunn, emcee Cragg Gilbert, auction sponsors CliftonLarsonAllen and Yakima Pomological Club, and live & silent auction donors and bidders!

 Learn more about the banquet honorees through the Good Fruit Grower article.

 FFA Apple Judging Contest

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Approximately 150 FFA members from around central Washington gathered for their annual apple judging contest. The stakes were high for competitors! The grand prize winner receives a $1000 WAEF scholarship sponsored by the North Central Washington Fieldmen's Association and the Yakima Pomological Club. This year's winner was Eva Aarstad, a senior from Prosser High School. Way to go, Eva!

 WAEF gets to coordinate the luncheon program for students annually. This year we chose to focus on the variety of opportunities available for post-secondary education by showing the film titled Success in the New EconomyStudents also got to hear about Perry Tech and the programs offered by the technical college.

 Carl Perleberg Memorial Travel Grant Recipients

Four current WAEF students spent the conference with volunteers participating in meetings, trade show and networking. Next week we'll share about their experiences.

 A big thank you to the 2018 conference committee, the staff at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association and the coordinators of the NW Hort Expo for putting together another great conference and including WAEF in their activities!