Dec. 17, 2021

Dave Gleason Receives Silver Apple Award

On Tuesday, December 7th, a crowd gathered at the Yakima Convention Center to honor several Washington tree fruit industry leaders. One of whom being our very own Dave Gleason! Dave, Horticulturist and Proprietary Variety Developer, is well known through the industry, including Superfresh Orchard Updates on YouTube. In fact, a clip from one of these videos was shared at the banquet (see below), receiving a round of applause. Dave was the 2021 recipient of the Silver Apple Award, an award given annually at the Washington State Tree Fruit Association (WSTFA) banquet. This prestigious award honors industry leaders and the contributions they make to the tree fruit industry. Also presented at the banquet were the Silver Pear Award, the Latino Leadership Award, the Distinguished Service Award, and the Good Fruit Grower of the Year Award.

“If the average farmer gets 40 harvests in a lifetime, then Dave Gleason is on his bonus round,” said WSTFA board member, Sean Gilbert. “He has seen more than 60 harvests, if you count from when his parents put him in an apple crate at 6 months while they picked apples. His life has been defined by faith, family, and farming, all of them inextricably linked. While Dave loves tending baby trees and watching them mature, it’s teaching and tending the people in his life, his grandchildren, his students, employees, and co-workers that have given him his greatest joys. Whether on a mission in Cuba, a farm in Quincy, or on YouTube, to Dave it's about transmitting the knowledge to the next generation as only someone who has lived through sixty harvests can do.”

Dave Gleason, left, is presented with the 2021 Silver Apple Award by Jordan Matson. (Photo from TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Dave has been part of the Superfresh Growers team for 21 years, beginning as a consultant in 2000 before moving 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. Dave tells us that his lifetime connection with our orchard teammates brings him great joy. He also has a passion for languages, and is bilingual in Spanish. Dave loves the daily interactions with the Latin culture that is so present on our farms.

“Dave is extremely knowledgeable in his field, but what makes him a true leader is his eagerness to teach. Every single one of us have learned something about apple growing from Dave” says Mike Preacher, Director of Marketing for Superfresh Growers. Dave’s lifelong dedication to the apple industry is what has led to this recognition. In a brief acceptance speech, Dave says “it’s about the people who mentored and challenged me to be my best, and how we bring the team along with us”. Dave was met with a standing ovation, as well as hugs from family, colleagues, and industry members.

As Sean Gilbert said, “Dave likes to say ‘Man makes his plan, but God directs our steps .’ Dave’s steps through our industry will leave an indelible mark”. Congratulations, Dave!