Aug. 23, 2022

Dave Gleason Receives 2022 Apple Grower of the Year Award

Once again, our orchard expert, Dave Gleason, is making headlines in the apple industry. You may recognize Dave from our Orchard Update YouTube series or his prestigious win of the WSTFA 2021 Silver Apple Award just last year. He has been named the 2022 American Fruit Grower℠ Apple Grower of the Year. The award is presented by American Fruit Grower® magazine, published by Meister Media Worldwide.

The Apple Grower of the Year recognition was created to honor those who have gone beyond the orchard's confines and have made a real impact on the apple industry through their involvement and leadership.

David Eddy, editor of American Fruit Grower and a member of the award selection committee, stated in the Growing Produce article, ‘Meet the 2022 Apple Grower of the Year Award Winner’ that “Gleason was chosen because of his willingness to share his deep horticultural knowledge with fellow growers. He stands out even in Yakima, which has become the de facto ‘apple capital’ of Washington, the state that produces two-thirds of the nation’s apple crop.”

Dave participated in his first harvest at the tender age of just six months old as he watched from an apple crate while his parents harvested their crop. Dave grew up to have a successful career in pest management before becoming part of the Superfresh family in 2000 as a consultant. Dave moved to his full-time career on our farm team three years later. Dave is the leading force behind maximizing our fruit production and developing and testing new varieties in his role as Horticulturist and Proprietary Variety Developer. With a lifetime of farming experience, this recognition is well deserved.

Last week, Dave and his wife, Babs, attended the ceremony in Chicago to accept the award formally. It was stated that Dave is this year’s recipient because he has significantly impacted apple production in the United States and abroad. He has spent countless hours mentoring young growers, implementing sustainable practices into our company’s operation, and using his knowledge to cultivate new and innovative varieties, cementing his place as a leader in the apple industry.

Before giving the award, David Eddy told the crowd that Dave is now his “favorite apple grower of the year.” He credits this to his experience visiting Dave earlier this year to interview him for the award. While there, he faced the predicament of no rental car availability in the Yakima Valley. Dave didn’t hesitate to loan David his truck for the week, and Babs even gave him a ride to the airport before his journey home. This story is a testament to Dave’s character and willingness to help.

Dave states in his acceptance speech that he is “passionate about growing apples and helping people grow apples.” His humble thanks were met with applause from the crowd. Congratulations, Dave! We are proud to have a world-class apple expert and industry leader on our farm team!