Tim Welsh is the General manager of New Variety and Orchard Development for Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc. of Wenatchee Washington. He was raised in orchards, educated at Washington State University and has been with Columbia Fruit for 28 years. He currently develops orchards with new varieties and training systems to accommodate future technology while incorporating the latest technology available; orchards that are worker friendly and utilize biologically friendly inputs with a vision for the highest quality fruit and production levels possible.
Tim has been married for 35 years, is the father of 4 and grandfather to 6.
Rod Farrow was born and raised a city boy in Ipswich, England. Luckily his first accepted job application as a 13 year old was on a local apple farm 4 miles outside Ipswich where he learned to love working outdoors with plants. After graduating high school and completing a one year exchange living and working on a fruit farm in France, Rod decided that the “school of hard knocks” was for him and he took off for 3 more years working around the world on fruit farms in New York, New Zealand and Japan. In 1986 he moved permanently to NY with his wife Karyn (New Zealand) and daughter Rebekah (England) to start a new life with Lamont Fruit Farm. Sebastian (USA) came along in 1990 to give him a very global family. Hard work, luck and perseverance (plus an understanding boss, George Lamont) allowed him to purchase the operating company and 500 acres of orchards from 1993 to 2012. Rod now enjoys the support of two new partners, Jose (Mexico) and Jason (USA) in the business as the cycle renews itself. Rod has started and is involved in the management and ownership of 8 different businesses and volunteers in a number of roles. One of the most enjoyable and rewarding is being on your IFTA Board with the global friendships and learning that go hand in hand with the Association.
Lisa Jenereaux is a fifth generation farmer in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Raised on the family farm, it was her ambition to find a career in anything but farming. She spent her college years studying travel and tourism and worked in the industry for several years. Through an unpredictable series of events, she came back to the farm to manage the orchards. She is now one of the owners of the mixed fruit and vegetable operation. Having no formal training in agriculture, she had to rely on other opportunities for her education. IFTA has been an integral part of her journey providing both information and connection to the industry. Lisa is actively involved in the agriculture sector serving on many committees and boards. In her free time she enjoys playing guitar, riding her motorcycle, and going to concerts. The highlight of her year is an annual trip to Disneyworld with her husband and daughter.
Philip Schwallier was born and raised on a fruit and beef family farm in Ottawa County, Coopersville, Michigan. This area is considered the west side of Peach Ridge fruit growing area. Phil received his B.S. in Horticulture at MSU in 1975 and his M.S. in Entomology in 1978. In 1978 Phil became the Kent County Horticulture Agent and later that year married Judy May of the east side of Peach Ridge where they took up residence in Sparta, Michigan. They have 4 children, Jody, Katie, Becky and Tim and 4 grandchildren, Lucas, Louisa, Tyler and Sophie. In 1982, Phil became the District Horticulture Agent specializing in apple production. Additionally, Phil also served from 1996 to 2008 as the Station Coordinator for the Clarksville Horticultural Experiment Station. In 2010 Phil became a member of the IFTA Board of Directors and was elected in 2011 as Vice President and then in 2013 as President of IFTA.
Jennifer Baugher was born and raised on her family farm, located in Adams County, Pennsylvania. She attended Elizabethtown College, and finished with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business. Upon finishing school (and taking a leap of faith), Jen joined her family business in November of 2004. Now part-owner, she has enjoyed working in both sales and marketing segments of Adams County Nursery. In recent years, Jen has committed much of her time at work to product development projects, transition planning and management responsibilities. Jen serves on multiple industry advisory boards, including RosBREED Project, and is excited to have been appointed most recently to your IFTA board. Jen and her husband, Henry, are involved with their church and different service projects there. Jen also enjoys playing racquetball and reading. Grateful for the love and support of her family and friends, Jen spends as much of her free time with them, including her niece and two nephews.
Jeff is a Horticulturist from a multi-generation family farm in Prosser, Washington. He completed his college studies at Dordt College in Iowa, graduating with a B.S. degree in Plant Science in 1992. He subsequently completed an internship with Zeneca Ag Products, then worked as Horticulturist for Simplot Grower Solution, and then for Starr Ranch Growers (Custom Apple Packers) until 2003. During this time he served as the president of the Columbia Basin Tree Fruit Society. In 2003 Jeff began working with Cave B as a horticulturist/viticulturist; then added the responsibility of supervising various aspects of construction of Cave B Inn until its completion. In 2007 Jeff was asked, along with several others, to help found PickerTECH (Whoosh Innovations) with the goal to automate apple harvest. Then in 2011 Jeff returned to work for Starr Ranch Growers (Custom Apple Packers) as head of Research and Development. He is now evaluating new technology for fruit packing and orchard equipment, as well as new orchard systems, new apple and cherry varieties, and he works with Sales and Marketing at Oneonta. Jeff has served on the Board of Directors for the Good Fruit Grower magazine and is past President of the Board of Directors for the Washington State Horticulture Association. He currently serves as a commissioner for the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission, WSU sweet cherry breeding program, and the WSU apple breeding program.
Bill Dodd is a 4th generation apple grower from Amherst, OH. His family owns Hillcrest Orchards, an 85 acre agritainment operation, located 35 miles west of Cleveland, OH. Bill also serves as President of Fruit Growers Marketing Association, a grower owned apple marketing cooperative that sells apples for 13 Ohio Growers. The Midwest Apple Improvement Association is an apple breeding program that recently released the new branded apple, EverCrisp. Bill is the President of that organization. Bill also serves on the Board of Directors of the US Apple Association and was the Chairman of the Board in 2013.
Wanda Heuser Gale is a 1976 graduate of Michigan State University with a BS in Horticulture. She is the 4th generation of a family that has been involved in fresh fruit production, nursery tree production and new variety introduction since 1904.
Wanda is president of International Plant Management, Inc; a company that manages the intellectual property of new fruit varieties to the commercial fruit industry. International Plant Management has several hundred fruit varieties under test and several dozen patented and trademarked varieties in the trade. They represent Cornell University, Michigan State University, several private breeding programs and individual owners in the management of these new selections.
Wanda serves on several committees for both her church and the industry, including the Tier 2 Advisory Board for the National Clean Plant Network. Wanda is married with 4 children and 8 grandchildren. She lives in Southwestern Michigan in the middle of a tart cherry orchard.
Karen Lewis is a Washington State University Tree Fruit Extension Specialist and the Washington State Tree Fruit Team Leader. She is an affiliate faculty member in the WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems.
Karen grew up in the Canal Zone, in the Republic of Panamá. She joined WSU in 1987 after earning her M.S. in Horticulture at the University of Arizona. She is located in the Columbia Basin fruit district in Washington State.
Her primary program focus is on the field validation, integration and optimization of orchard systems, technology and people. She works closely with industry to identify needs and works to build cross disciplinary teams to identify the researchable questions and facilitates the research that results in appropriate methods, tools and / or technologies.
Current projects with WSU colleagues include mechanical pruning in apple, pear and sweet cherry, mechanical thinning, fully automated and human – robot collaborative apple harvest, trellis and superstructure engineering analysis and Manchurian crabapple replacement.
Karen likes to travel for work and pleasure and she and husband Ken spend many summer days growing and preserving fruit and veggies. She considers a day kayaking and a night camping under the stars as a day well spent. It is all about being in, on or near the water.
Hank grew up on the family orchard in Kelowna, British Columbia. Looking after apples, pears and cherries in his younger days was his inspiration to study horticulture. Hank attended Washington State University and obtained his degree in Horticulture. Following his graduation Hank started working as a Fieldman / Advisor for BC Tree Fruits, working closely with growers in the Okanagan Valley on Apples, Pears and Cherries. Hank is now the Horticultural Manager at BC Tree Fruits and continues working with growers as well is continuing to run the family orchard.
Craig Tanner grew up in Central Illinois on his family’s farm, Tanners Orchard. He graduated fromUniversity of Illinois with a B.S. in Horticulture in 1996, when he began working at Tanners Orchard.Now, he is one of three owners at Tanners Orchard and manages the production and harvest of fruit andvegetables there. Craig has been active in IFTA since 1999, when he first attended the annualconference in Hamilton, Ontario. He has been part of the IFTA Board of Directors since 2015. Craig isalso involved with the Illinois Specialty Growers Association and Illinois State Horticultural Society,serving on both boards as well. Craig and his wife, Kathleen, have four children, age 10 to 3. They areinvolved in Cub Scouts and 4-H. Craig and his family enjoy fishing, biking and many other outdooractivities.Craig is excited for the opportunity to serve on your IFTA Board of Directors.