New director at WSU tree fruit research center

By Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

McFerson-80WENATCHEE, Wash. – Jim McFerson is the new director for the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center (TFREC) in Wenatchee starting Aug. 24.

Former director Jay Brunner will continue part-time to support the leadership transition until he officially retires as entomology professor at the end of the year.

McFerson comes to WSU after holding the manager position at the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission since 1999. He will provide part-time transitional leadership to the commission until 2016.

“Jim’s affiliation with WSU will strengthen our ability to build strong partnerships with the tree fruit and allied industries,” said Kim Kidwell, acting dean for the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences. “He understands the industry extraordinarily well and brings a wealth of experience and research knowledge to WSU’s tree fruit programs.”

“WSU TFREC has a solid core of highly accomplished university and federal scientists, energetic extension professionals and a hard-working staff,” McFerson said. “I am grateful for this fantastic opportunity to be part of that team and further strengthen the productive public-private partnership between WSU and our tree fruit industry.”

He said he intends to build on the center’s legacy and expand its capacities to provide greater impact for stakeholders and to secure its scientific standing nationally and internationally. His efforts will feature purposeful outreach as well as active educational and training activities to attract and retain top quality students.


Jim McFerson, WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, 509-669-3900
Sylvia Kantor, WSU CAHNRS science writer, 206-770-6063,