Washington growers’ foundation funds African relief

08/25/2011 11:00:00 AM
Don Schrack

Vista Hermosa, a Prescott, Wash., foundation founded by Washington fruit grower-shippers Ralph and Cheryl Broetje 21 years ago, has committed $1 million in emergency relief to Eastern Africa.

The funds will go to Catholic Relief Services and World Vision, according to a news release.

A severe drought has created famine conditions particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

“As farmers ourselves, we know the challenges associated with growing food and caring for the land,” Suzanne Broetje, the foundation’s executive director, said in the release. “When natural disasters strike, we seek to stand alongside vulnerable families so that they may feed their families, regain their ability to farm the land, and build their resilience for the future.”

Vista Hermosa is funded by profits from Prescott-based Broetje Orchards.

In 2009, the apple grower-shippers joined forces with another Washington fruit grower-shipper, Columbia Valley Fruit, Yakima, to form FirstFruits Marketing LLC.

When it was founded, the growers committed to donating 10% of the Yakima-based marketing firm’s profits to domestic and international charitable efforts.



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