Jun 11, 2020Michigan apple growers respond to crises with resilience
For generations, farmers have dedicated their lives to producing food day in and day out, to feed their neighbors, friends, strangers. Through good and bad times, people always need food, and farmers continue to work each day to provide it.
“Of course, agriculture is an essential industry, and Michigan’s apple growers and other farmers have continued their daily work throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, said in a news release. “We at the Michigan Apple Committee want to recognize their efforts as we all face the uncertainty and worry of these difficult times.”
Consumers can still find Michigan grown apples in stores, while growers are working on cultivating the next crop to be harvested this fall. Most of Michigan is just passing full-bloom stage, soon small fruit will begin to appear on apple trees.
“Harvest for the 2020 crop will begin in late August. Growers are working hard to care for their apple trees and the fruit growing on them,” said Smith. “They, and other industry members are also dedicated to ensuring a safe work environment for their employees, which of course, means additional ramped-up efforts at this time.”
The Michigan Apple industry continues to follow the important worker safety protocols outlined by the CDC, FDA, OSHA and the Executive Orders from Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
“As we continue to move forward with the ‘new normal,’ safety protocols are in place and the top priorities of a healthy workforce and safe, quality product continue to be the goal of the industry,” said Smith.
Last month, Governor Whitmer sent a letter to Michigan Apple growers and the industry at large thanking them for their dedication and hard work. In part, the letter stated, “Thank you for all that you are doing to support the state and our food supply during these unprecedented times. I am proud to be your partner as we face these challenges together.”
Consumers can rest assured that the Michigan Apple industry will face the challenge of the global pandemic as they have faced other challenges throughout their history – with perseverance and a commitment to providing safe, high-quality fruit.
Michigan Apple growers harvest an average of approximately 25 million bushels of apples each year. There are more than 14.9 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 34,500 acres on 775 family-run farms in Michigan.
The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.