WENATCHEE, Wash. -- Kyle Mathison, co-owner of Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, was named organic farmer of the year by the Organic Trade Association of Brattleboro, Vt.
Mathison, 60, a fourth-generation grower, was chosen for innovations and commitment to the tree fruit industry. He has been growing organically since the late 1980s and was among the first to use an integrated organic program.
He grows apples, pears and cherries on Wenatchee's Stemilt Hill and cherries in Bakersfield, Calif., and Chile. He runs an organic recycling center in Wenatchee that sends material to his organic composting operation on Stemilt Hill. He also has served many years on the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.
Mathison said he is honored but that the entire Stemilt team earned the award.
It will be presented at OTA's annual awards celebration at the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Sept. 25.
-- Dan Wheat