Local orchard receives national recognition in apple industry
EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - A local apple orchard recently received national recognition in the national apple industry and one young man is behind it all.
Twenty-eight-year-old Andy Ferguson, one of the owners of Ferguson’s Orchard, said, "What it means for my future is basically is it gave me a whole different understanding of the apple industry. You can see that the leaves are already starting to come out."
Ferguson is making it big with a few others from across the country.
"I am the only apple grower in the state of Wisconsin that was selected from that."
The U.S. Apple Association selected Ferguson as one of the top young leaders in the national apple industry earlier this year, which is a pick that can be rare to come by.
"Actually, I was the first grower in Wisconsin to be selected. Traditionally the bigger apple growing states are Washington state, Michigan and New York, are the three big ones,” Ferguson said. “So Wisconsin is a little lower on that totem pole on the grander scheme of things nationally, so it's nice to go there and show people that 'Hey, we grow apples here too.'"
To be selected among a few apple growers in the nation is like another ripening stage in his career.
"It's good to have that second generation interested in and able and willing to take over operation," Ferguson said.
"That will allow me to look just within Eau Claire County or the Chippewa Valley but actually see what other growers are doing in parts of the country as well as the state. So that will allow us to keep growing and stay ahead of the curve on growing practices."
Ferguson also was elected earlier this year as the president for the Apple Growers Association, an organization of about 180 different apple growing organizations around Wisconsin. WXOW Addition: The Ferguson's have another orchard in Galesville, run by Andy's dad, Tom. Tom also helps run the Leidel's Apple Stand in La Crescent.
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