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Award Honorees

Kyle Mathison, Stemilt Growers

2013 : Organic Farmer of the Year Award

Kyle Mathison, a fourth generation farmer and co-owner of Stemilt Growers LLC of Wenatchee, WA, comes from a multi-generation tree fruit growing family. He began experimenting with organic production in the late 1980s. He subsequently became a certified organic grower, and currently farms with his two sons, growing apples, pears, and cherries.

Kyle was one of the first organic growers to use an integrated organic program in his orchards. He applied liquid fish oil on his trees, which increased predator insect populations. He was a leader in inserting large numbers of reared insect predators into his practices to reduce sprays. He developed his own compost facility, and now converts area waste from many sources into a certified organic compost product, available to other area organic growers. He served for many years on the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission, and has helped advanced solutions in the areas of orchard weed control, organic fertilizer, integrated pest control, organic chemical bloom thinning, fire blight organic control, and organic foliar nutrient applications.