Oct 1, 2012Dodd named chairman of U.S. Apple Association
Bill Dodd was elected chairman of the U.S. Apple Association’s (USApple) board of directors in August, during the association’s annual outlook conference. He replaced Dale Foreman as chairman and will serve a one-year term.
Dodd, who runs Hillcrest Orchards in Amherst, Ohio, said immigration and labor reform remain top priorities for USApple.
“We’re waiting to see what happens with the election,” he said. ”We’re hoping to see if that creates an opportunity to make something happen, positively.”
Another major issue is the 2012 Farm Bill. Both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have introduced bills favorable to specialty crops, but progress remained stalled as of early September.
“While I can’t say how that is going to work out, we’ll be a part of the process going forward,” Dodd said.
It is going to be a bizarre marketing year, with the crop being as small as it is for most of the country. USApple will be there to help growers make money, Dodd said.
“We’re always looking to promote health benefits and combat any bad news.”
Dodd’s farm, which he manages with his wife, Diane, and two children, has about 60 percent of a normal crop. They grow 30 acres of apples and host seasonal agritainment activities, he said.
“I’m not as big as many of the other growers,” he said. “We have a pretty decent crop of Reds and Goldens, mostly pick-your-own. Most of our customers are coming out for the experience. Of course, we haven’t picked anything (as of August). With the weird weather we’ve had this season, who knows?”
Dodd is heavily involved in the apple industry. In addition to being chairman of USApple, he’s president of the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association, director of the Ohio Apples Marketing Program, president of the Midwest Apple Improvement Association, executive director of the Premier Apple Cooperative and a member of the International Fruit Tree Association’s board of directors.