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Jan 22, 2020
$32M WSU tree fruit research endowment fully funded

Crop assessments stopped Jan. 21 for growers who have paid millions of dollars into a Washington State University Tree Fruit Endowment.

The $32 million endowment is now fully funded, according to a press release from the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission. Interest from the endowment will pay for six new tree fruit scientists to be hired as endowed chairs, fill four Extension/outreach positions, and provide funding for facility improvement at the research and extension centers in Prosser and Wenatchee.

Apple, pear, cherry and soft fruit growers had agreed in 2012 and 2013 to fund the endowment, according to the release. Soft fruit included peaches, nectarines, apricots, prunes and plums.

On Jan. 21, 2020, the collection of funds for the Washington State University (WSU) Tree Fruit Endowment was terminated for all apple and pear handlers, according to the press release. Collection of funds for cherry and soft fruit handlers was terminated in April 2019 – the cherry growers had fixed their contribution at $5 million and met that goal with assessments from the 2018 cherry crop.

“On behalf of Washington State University and the research community at large, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission would like to thank all growers for their generous support,” according to the press release.

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