The Manson Grange was the site of the District VII Apple Career Development Event on Tuesday, Nov. 24. FFA members from all over North Central Washington came to town to apply their knowledge of the fruit industry. Manson, Chelan, Okanogan, Tonasket, Mansfield, Cascade, Cashmere, Wenatchee and Eastmont FFA chapters were represented by 72 members who competed in 10 different practicum areas.
Members first took a restricted-use pesticide test based on the Washington State Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicators handbook. Then they moved into the individual practicum areas.
Entomology requires members to identify 20 different beneficial and harmful insects and arachnids important to the tree fruit industry.
Variety Identification requires students to identify 25 samples determining if they are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Winter Banana, Gala, Bosc, Bartlett or Anjou.
Grading involves evaluating 25 Red and 25 Golden Apples based on WSDA industry standards as to whether the sample is Washington Extra Fancy, Washington Fancy, or Culls.
Blemish Identification requires members to determine the defect in 50 samples as to whether the damage was caused by Codling Moth, Pandemis Leaf Roller, San Jose Scale, Sunburn, Limb Rub, Chewing Damage, Stink Bug, Lygus Bug, Bitter Pit, Growth Crack or Indenture.
Tray Judging has competitors look at four trays of Goldens and 4 trays of Reds and place them in order based on quality, uniformity, color and defect.
Fruit Maturity involves performing an internal pressure test of an apple on three sites and determining the average internal pressure in pounds per square inch and determining harvest date based on the full bloom date for Reds, Goldens, and Fuji.
When all the answer sheets had been tallied, the Chelan No. 1 team stood at the top of the page after a consistent performance, with only 3.5 points separating all four team members who made up the team score.
Dane Schwartz finished as the second place individual with a score of 243.5 out of a possible 260. Sarah Goyne was third with 240.5, Erick Straub was fourth, also with a 240.5, and Stephanie Olivera was fifth with a score of 240. Michael Tutino was the fifth member of the team.
They earned the Apple Cup Traveling Trophy and the first place district banner, marking the 12th time in the last 14 years that a team from Chelan has done so.
The Chelan No. 2 team of Diana Sanchez, Henry Suarez, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ashley Oswald and Neil Carleton placed sixth.
The Chelan No. 3 team of Aislinn Davis, Antonio Cazarez, Carlos Vargas and Kenny Reeves placed 11th in the 16-team field.
The teams will prep for one more week and then travel to Yakima for the Washington State Apple CDE on Wednesday, Dec. 9, held at the Washington State Horticultural Association meetings.