household background/ Reid earned a bachelor’s diploma in built-in plant sciences from Washington State College. He’s the son of Renae and Darin Donaldson.
native metropolis/ Yakima, Washington
crops/ pears, apples, cherries
enterprise/ Mount Adams fruit
How did you begin?
I’ve at all times been interested by biology and the way vegetation work, the names of vegetation and which of them are edible and which of them aren’t. Why do they develop right here and why do they develop there? I selected Built-in Plant Sciences to pursue the produce trade as a result of it was extra of a problem and never one thing I may ignore. My dad at all times mentioned that he ought to do one thing that was troublesome, work arduous and combat. That approach I will be profitable and have the hassle repay ultimately. Due to that perspective, I selected the trail I needed, though I knew it was going to be tougher and difficult to realize. It is one thing I will be happy with.
What did you be taught in school and within the area?
I see school because the framework, the place you be taught and perceive the physiology and science behind the whole lot that occurs within the floor. However within the area, you are studying one thing utterly new concerning the chemistry of aerosols and new terminology and issues that you simply did not be taught in school. I consider it takes each to achieve success on this trade. I began my internship at Mount Adams Fruit my sophomore yr of faculty, through the summer time. My early jobs concerned a variety of knowledge gathering, primary fruit counts and whatnot, however possibly not as a lot enjoyable. I did it for 2 summers and in my final yr of internship, throughout my senior yr, I obtained a job supply. I accepted it and moved to the farm in White Salmon, Washington, in December. I graduated a semester early and needed to start out throughout proper because the season was beginning. Being a farm employee, horticulturist, or orchard supervisor was one thing the place I may apply these sciences to the actual world. That is what i needed.
What challenges are you engaged on?
Lots of the issues within the area are totally different from these they train you at school. It’s a must to be ready that there is sort of a textbook strategy after which there are precise situations the place the textbook would not actually work. Now I am evaluating fruit set and crop high quality and illness screening, issues like that. I am going across the countryside, serving to with initiatives. And an enormous venture that I have been engaged on is the irrigation venture, which is making a extra scientific strategy to irrigation, as an alternative of the outdated 24-hour system with guide traces.
What are you in search of the longer term?
I believe it might be automation, however to a sure extent, as a result of you’ll at all times want labor. I believe lots of people say automation goes to take over the whole lot. I believe you’ll at all times want folks and there’ll should be a steadiness between automation and labor. I additionally assume that logistics will should be improved. There are a variety of logistics to maintain 140 acres operating effectively. For instance, how can we discover a method to apply water to solely 5 acres from this pump and solely 10 acres on a special block? You possibly can’t put an excessive amount of right here, as a result of it’ll scale back the water strain on the opposite aspect after which there will likely be an excessive amount of in a special space that may blow the road. Enhancing the logistics of the system on the farm stage requires a method to clear up these puzzles.
What recommendation would you give different younger producers?
The internship is known as a course of that you should work on all through your school profession. I believe you must begin early so you’ll be able to be taught issues concerning the area. After which if you’re taking lessons, you’ll be able to apply it. Whereas if you happen to wait too lengthy, I believe you’d find yourself in school studying the whole lot you must get your diploma, however not making connections to the actual world. When you begin early, it is possible for you to to know and generate concepts and maybe clear up a number of the issues you will have seen within the area, primarily based on what you will have discovered.