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Randy Smith now Tree Top's big apple

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As if Randy Smith didn’t already have enough to do, the Chelan County PUD commissioner and prominent Cashmere orchardist is now in charge of our apple juice.

Well, sort of. Smith was named last month as chairman of the board of Tree Top Inc., one of the state’s largest privately-owned companies, the world’s leading producer of dried apple ingredients and one of the globe’s biggest squishers of apples into juice.

“Mmm brrm wrrm mmmm,” said Smith, drinking juice during a phone interview.

Since 1975, Smith has grown apples, pears and cherries on 125 acres near Cashmere. He’s a former Cashmere school board member and past chairman of a bunch of ag groups, including the Washington State Horticultural Association, the Washington Growers Clearing House and the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation. He’s been a PUD commissioner since 2007.

And now he’s the big apple over at Tree Top, which was founded back in 1960 and is owned by more than 1,100 apple and pear growers in Washington, Oregon and California. The cooperative operates eight facilities and employs more than 1,000 people.

In case you’re interested, other changes last month to the Tree Top board included the election of Alan Groff, Wenatchee, as a new board member; the election of Jim Divis, Brewster, as secretary-treasurer; and the re-election of board member Tom Auvil, Wenatchee, to serve till 2015.