(June 16) WENATCHEE, Wash. — Stemilt Growers Inc. has signed up another industry veteran to help grow its organic fruit program.

The addition of Nancy Dudney, most recently sales and marketing director for Brewster, Wash.-based King Blossom Natural Orchards, comes a week after Stemilt announced the hiring of another organic pro, Harold Ostenson.

The moves are part of Stemilt’s recently announced ambition to grow its organic production by up to 20% per year.

Dudney got her start in organic produce in 1984 in Conroe, Texas, where she sold organic fruits and vegetables out of a small retail shop. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Dudney ran organic farmers markets in Tucson, Ariz. In 1994 she sold her chain of 13 markets to Tucson Fruit and Produce.

After that, Dudney marketed and sold organic apples and cherries for four years for Valley Farms Ltd., Willcox, Ariz.

At King Blossom, she oversaw the sales and marketing of an annual crop of about 100,000 boxes of organic apples.