Thank you for visiting the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission’s website. We support applied science to improve the financial and ecological sustainability of Washington’s tree fruit industry through innovative horticulture, pest and disease management, postharvest programs, and development of new technologies which efficiently deliver premium quality fruit to consumers.
After an international search, Dr. Ines Hanrahan was selected by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission (WTFRC) as its new Executive Director on August 17, 2018. Hanrahan will provide administrative leadership, oversight for WTFRC staff, and contribute to strategic planning for the WTFRC.
Dr. Mike Willett, who has led the WTFRC since 2015, will continue with the Commission to complete several on-going projects and to support the management transition. He plans to leave the WTFRC in June 2019, after almost 40 years working with the tree fruit industry of the Pacific Northwest.
According to the current WTFRC board chairman and longtime Yakima area tree fruit producer Jim Doornink, “We are very pleased that we could attract Dr. Hanrahan to this position. In the 49-year history of the WTFRC, she is only the fourth director, following George Ing, Dr. Jim McFerson, and Dr. Mike Willett.” Also, Doornink notes that “Dr. Hanrahan has an outstanding track record when it comes to being able to anticipate, evaluate and react to short- and long-term industry needs.”
The WTFRC was created by state statute in 1969 to support research and industry service activities in support of the Washington tree fruit industry. Funding for this work comes from Washington tree fruit producers based on the amount of fruit produced and funding levels are set for each crop, based on grower referendums. Annual revenues vary, depending on production levels, but in recent years around $4.0 million has been available annually to fund the work of the Commission.
The overall goals of the WTFRC are to enhance the profitability of tree fruit growers in Washington state, to expedite transfer of research results to industry application, to provide an ongoing link between scientists and the industry, to interact with other industry organizations, and to train the next generation of industry professionals. No funds are utilized for marketing or advertising purposes.
Hanrahan grew up in East Germany and studied horticultural engineering at Humboldt University in Berlin (degree completed in 1999). In 2005 she received a Ph.D. in Postharvest Physiology from Washington State University (WSU) and subsequently joined the WTFRC as a Project Manager. In that position she managed collaborative research projects on fruit quality, storage technology and food safety.
Although her recent focus has been on pre- and post-harvest physiology of tree fruits, Hanrahan has broad experience in processes and practices in fruit, vegetable, and nursery production from the grower to the consumer. She has gained valuable practical and multicultural experience in Europe, South Africa, and the USA, building an active worldwide network with scientists and extension professionals. She has also been an active member of the WSU tree fruit extension team.
According to Dr. Jim McFerson, currently Director of the WSU Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, Hanrahan brings a unique background to her new role: “She has a wealth of knowledge developed through her education and experience, but she also brings a broad perspective and an energetic dedication to address challenges facing growers. She understands fruit production systems and the horticultural, physiological, and socioeconomic issues facing tree fruit industries regionally and worldwide.”
According to Hanrahan, while those challenges are complex, including issues like changing consumer demands, compliance with federal food safety regulations, rapidly expanding production in organic systems, and implementation of digital and engineering technologies, she plans to maintain an aggressive approach to problem solving as an organization to manage the challenges faced by industry stakeholders.
As a special emphasis, she is dedicated to connecting with the next generation of industry professionals, both as a mentor and as an industry leader, setting a positive example for an increasingly diverse work force. Hanrahan believes this approach will enable the WTFRC to stay relevant and provide outstanding value, throughout the entire tree fruit industry.
Hanrahan is married to Mark Hanrahan, a local tree fruit producer. The couple has an 11-year-old son, Kai.
She will maintain her current office with WSU Extension in Union Gap, as well as establishing a regular rotation to the WTFRC office in Wenatchee, before moving to her new permanent location at 105 South 18th Street (W. L. Hansen Building/Fruit Place) in 2019.
In response to increasing industry concerns about meeting Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for pesticides in foreign markets, the WTFRC initiated studies in 2011 in apple and cherry to develop some residue data for commonly used insecticides and fungicides to help Washington growers make more informed choices about their spray programs. The WTFRC Internal Program recently completed its 2018 study in cherry which included 10 insecticides/acaricides, 3 fungicides, and a potash & phosphite foliar fertilizer. The results of that study are available below, as well as similar reports from previous years on apple and cherry; results of an ongoing WTFRC residue study in apple will be posted in September.
2017 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2016 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2015 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2011-2014 WTFRC Apple Residue Summary
2014 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2013 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2012 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2011 WTFRC Apple Residue Study
2017 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2016 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2015 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2012-2014 WTFRC Cherry Residue Summary
2014 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2013 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2012 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2011 WTFRC Cherry Residue Study
2011 Univ. California Extension Cherry Residue Study
Below is a list of upcoming industry events of note:
WTFRC Board meeting
Date/Time: Thursday, September 6, 3:00pm.
WSU WA38 Field Days
Date/Time: Tuesday, September 11
No registration necessary.
The latest edition of "Fruit Matters", is now available. This monthly newsletter is a product of the Tree Fruit Extension team which is comprised of members from WSU and the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission whose goal is to share timely information with the tree fruit community.