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Apple leaders earn posts on national board

Contact: Denise Donohue
(800) 456-2753

(DeWitt, Mich.) – Two representatives from the Michigan apple industry have been elected to positions on the U.S. Apple Association (USApple) Governing Board of Directors, the organization representing the national apple industry on a variety of issues including legislation and public education.

Julia Baehre Rothwell of Grand Rapids was elected secretary and Joe Klein of Sparta was voted as a director.  Rothwell has considerable experience with USApple, having served in a director capacity since 2002.  She is expected to become president of USApple in 2010.  Klein is new to the association board, serving his first term.

“It’s great to see two representatives from Michigan serving on behalf of the industry,” said Denise Donohue, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.  “Both Julia and Joe bring a lot to the table and their willingness to work on behalf of the industry is greatly appreciated.”

In addition to her roles on the USApple Board, Rothwell has been a member of the Michigan Apple Committee Board since 2001, serving as chairperson and vice chairperson.  She has testified on behalf of the Farm Bill and frequently visits Michigan Congressional members to discuss apple issues.

Joe Klein has been in the apple business for more than four decades.  Over the years, he has been an active member of the Michigan Apple Research Subcommittee, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association (MACMA).

USApple's governing board of directors is comprised of 24 elected members responsible for guiding USApple's mission and activities.  The executive committee of the board, along with several working committees, addresses the concerns of the industry as a whole.

In Michigan, there are over 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres on 950 family-run orchards throughout the Lower Peninsula.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to market development, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world.