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Gov. Rick Snyder makes appointments, reappointment to Tree Fruit Commission

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced the appointments of Christopher Kropf, of Lowell, and Rodney Winkel, of Watervliet, and the reappointment of James Nugent, of Suttons Bay, to the Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.

The nine-member commission was established by growers in 2014 to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

“The food and agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Michigan’s economic growth and I am confident that this group of appointees will work hard to support this section of our economy,” said Snyder.

Kropf is owner of Hart Farm LLC, and is also a sales representative for Valent USA. He is a member of the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association, the Northwest Fruit Testers Association, Michigan State Horticultural Society, Clarksville Experimental Station Advisory Committee, Michigan Integrated Pest Management Project, and president of the Ionia-Montcalm Pomsters. Kropf earned an associate degree in horticulture from Wenatchee Valley College and a technology certificate in fruit and vegetable production from Michigan State University. He represents District 2 and replaces Patrick Goodfellow.

Winkel is owner and president of Grandview Orchards Inc., and has nearly 50 years of farming experience. He earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture and pomology, and vegetable production from Michigan State University. He represents District 3 and replaces Randy Willmeng.

Nugent is partner and operator of Sunblossom Orchards. He served as the district horticultural agent of the MSU Extension Program and as coordinator of the NW Michigan Horticultural Research Station. Nugent serves as chairman of the board of Graceland Fruit Co., is on the board of directors of the Leelanau Conservancy, and served on the Interim Michigan Tree Fruit Committee. Nugent earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Michigan State University. He continues to represent fruit growers in District 1.

Appointees will serve three-year terms expiring March 1, 2018. Their appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.