George Lamont, NY apple producer and leader, dies at age 83

georGeorge Fredrick Lamont, who dedicated his career to the produce industry, and most notably the New York apple industry, died on March 13 at age 83 in Saranac Lake, NY.

Mr. Lamont was an apple grower, association leader and an organizer. In 1966, he and his brother, Roger Lamont, who were sixth-generation family farmers, founded Lamont Fruit Farm in Waterport, NY. It continues today under new ownership.

“I met George Lamont in the 1970s from a processing side of the industry,” said Jim Allen, vice president of New York Apple Sales and previous past president of the New York Apple Association Inc. “At the time he was a vegetable and fruit grower for processing. He transitioned to concentrate of tree fruit production, and ultimately became a valuable asset to the state’s apple production.”

A successful fruit grower, founding member of a large grower packing cooperative and serving on both state and national agricultural organizations, in the late 1990s Mr. Lamont once again changed direction. This sounded like retirement to the NYAA, and so to honor him in 1998, it established the Lamont Leadership Award for outstanding industry service.

But Mr. Lamont was far from retiring. He continued with a marathon of hard work, long hours and attacking issues that plagued both New York and U.S. apple growers.

“George assumed the leadership role of a fledging New York State Horticultural Society and gave it new life and new strength,” noted Allen. He tackled issues, such as NAFTA, immigration, labor laws and Chinese AJC imports. Because of his tireless work ethics and his unyielding persistence, New York state became a leading apple voice in Albany and in Washington, DC.”

Through tireless efforts, Lamont unified the entire U.S. apple industry. As a result, Premier Apple Cooperative was formed to cover eastern apple-producing states.

“George’s objective was to remove the fragmentation of the industry, to unite as growers, develop an open dialog and to be willing to work together to accomplish mutual goals,” said Allen. “This concept was also adopted in the southeast, mid-west and it moved into the western apple-growing regions. His efforts did not stop at state line, and his accomplishments were many and great.”

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, Saranac Lake, NY. There are no calling hours. A memorial service will be set for the spring at the Adirondack Baptist Church in Saranac Lake with Pastor Ryan Schneider officiating. Burial will be in Mount Albion Cemetery, Albion, NY.

Quebec Distributing facilitating produces boxes to charities
When Marvin Quebec, president of Oakland, CA-based Quebec Distributing Inc. initially heard about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, he noted that many worthy charities were not being serviced. A month later after participating in a seminar on the program during United Fresh LIVE!, he Read More ...
Meijer opens five supercenters in the Midwest
Meijer has opened five supercenters across the Midwest. Located in Manitowoc, WI, Sycamore, IL, Bad Axe, MI, and Brimfield and Lorain, OH, the 159,000-square-foot stores offer a state-of-the-art shopping experience, providing customers multiple ways to shop in a specialty store environment. "These new stores reinforce our Read More ...
Well•Pict digital retail kit to heat up summer sales
Well•Pict Berries launched its Well•Pict Digital Retail Kit, a promotional tool to help its retail partners increase their online berry marketing efforts. The kit will include marketing materials for every member of the produce department, from produce buyers to department merchandisers. It is tailored to help and guide a Read More ...
Stemilt to host Virtual Cherry College webinar
Stemilt is bringing its in-person cherry education experience to the computer screen for the inaugural Stemilt U: Virtual Cherry College webinar. The 60-minute webinar will be held on Wednesday, July 22 at 2 p.m. EST. Led by Tate Mathison, Stemilt director of sales, the webinar will take attendees through the cherry Read More ...
Fresh Thyme partnership brings same-day delivery to the Midwest
Specialty retailer Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is partnering with Shipt, making it more convenient to conquer healthy living goals. Customers in 30 metro areas across the Midwest region will have access to this new offering from Shipt and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, giving more than 10 million households this option for Read More ...
A bridge too Pharr: $3.7M of meth found in produce
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted $3.7 million worth of alleged methamphetamine that was hidden within a commercial shipment of fresh produce. “Our officers at the cargo facility are committed to upholding our border security mission Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse