WSU's largest gift ever will advance tree fruit research

Sep 21, 2011

RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University is receiving its largest gift ever. The $27 million donation announced Tuesday is aimed spurring tree fruit research at WSU stations in Prosser and Wenatchee.

The gift comes from the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Tree fruit growers voted to raise an assessment on themselves to bolster science.

Jim McFerson manages the commission. He says the boost in research will help Washington apples and pears compete with fruit from other countries and with other products.

"This gift is a truly transformational gift," McFerson says. "It's not just adding a little bit here and there, it's changing the nature of our partnership with our chief research provider Washington State."

The money will help fund six endowed research chairs, five positions aimed at transferring technology from WSU researchers to the industry and research orchards at Prosser and Wenatchee.

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