Industry leader and passionate orchardist Jerry Haak was born in Delavan, Wisconsin on July 28, 1962 to Henry and Karen Haak. He was raised in Outlook with brothers Hank, Rick, Dan and sisters Judi and Lisa. Mr. Haak passed away on Christmas Day 2013.
Jerry attended Sunnyside Christian School, Sunnyside High School, and graduated in 1984 from Dordt College with a bachelor’s degree in Agri-Business.
On June 15, 1984 he married his sixth grade sweetheart, Rosie Bosma. Jerry and Rosie had three children, Matthew, Ashley, and Alyssa. His greatest joy was spending time with his family. Dinner conversations, sporting events, hunting/fishing expeditions, and family vacations were his favorite activities.
Jerry loved his job as an orchardist. It was his passion. He devoured new information and techniques, mulled them over, but usually had a better idea of his own and figured out how to accomplish it. He valued his employees and always wanted to help them with whatever they needed.
Jerry loved his Lord and lived his life serving Him. He filled his mind with ideas to keep it off his daily physical pain. With this came a heart for those less fortunate than him. Projects he was involved in included Farmer to Farmer Zambia, Partners Worldwide, Transformation Sunnyside, Sunnyside Christian School, and Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church.
Mr. Haak was a passionate orchardist known for his innovative approach to farming and willingness to share new techniques and discoveries. He was always willing to share his current research and discovery with others in the industry and frequently provided input through the Washington Apple Commission, Washington State Horticultural Association, the Barnabas Foundation, and the Roza Irrigation board.
Friends, family and business associates of Mr. Haak created a scholarship in his honor to encourage others to follow Jerry’s impressive and impactful career in the tree fruit industry.