Fruit commission elections scheduled for January

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YAKIMA Elections for seats on the Washington State Tree Fruit Commission, as well as the apricot and cherry marketing boards, are scheduled for next week at grower meetings in Wenatchee and Yakima.

Three seats on the 17-member tree fruit commission are up for election in 2019, one in District No. 1, north central Washington, and one each in District No. 2 and No. 3 in south central Washington. Each term is for three years.

Elections for Producer Position No. 3, District No. 1, are scheduled for Jan. 15 during the annual NCW Stone Fruit Day at the Wenatchee Convention Center. Norm Gutzwiler is the incumbent.

The District No. 2 and No. 3 elections are scheduled for the Cherry Institute annual meeting, scheduled for Jan. 18 in Yakima. The incumbent in Producer Position No. 9, District No. 3 is Patrick Sullivan. The incumbent in Dealer Position No. 13, District No. 2 is Ray (Gipp) Redman III.

Terms for the commissioners will start May 1 and expire April 30, 2022.

Positions also are open on the Washington Cherry Marketing Committee. The committee establishes grade, size and pack regulations for sweet cherries produced in designated counties in the state.

The elections for District 1 will be in Wenatchee at NCW Stone Fruit Day. The terms for two grower and two handler positions are expiring. The growers are Casey Collins and Ed Clark; the handlers are Jim Colbert and Tate Mathixon. The grower alternates are Mark Egerton and Dennis Berdan, and the handler alternates are Ron Gonsalves and Michael Taylor.

Donnie Olmstead, Gary Ormiston and Camille Smith are the growers whose terms are expiring in District 2; the incumbent in the handler division is Cindy Alarcon. Bob Harris, Ed Skelton and Dennis Jones are the grower alternates. The handler alternate position is vacant.

Elections also will be held for terms in the northern districts of the Washington Apricot Marketing Committee. The committee administers federal marketing order provisions for handling apricots.

Grower positions up for election currently are held by Lyle Hammon, Jenny Dahlstedt, alternate; and Ata Yazdaniha. The second alternate position is vacant. The handler position currently is held by Larry Blakley, and the alternate position is vacant.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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