On June 4, PNW Ag visited the AgroFresh Service Center in Yakima for the Harvista™ Calibration Day event. We spoke with Emily Gant, senior account manager for the Wenatchee region, and Julio Cruz, field operations manager for the Yakima region, to understand what this event is about.

PNW Ag: What are we doing here today?

Emily:  Today is a day for all of our customers to come and ask questions about Harvista™, our product that we utilize in the orchard to help reduce fruit drop and fruit waste, and help hold quality. We hold these days to have our customers bring in their pumps and their kits they use to apply Harvista, and then we refurbish them while they get to eat tacos and check things out. Julio's operation team will go through and we have a sprayer out back that will run through some demos of calibration as well as how the pumps work.

Julio: That's exactly correct. You know we have a bilingual team that's here. Usually the guys that are applying the chemical, they do it once a year. Sometimes they forget about it. This serves as a refresher for them to say "Julio ,I have some questions, can you please answer this for me?" Sure. Bring your whole team out, we'll help you out. So by the time the season starts, they're ready to go.

PNW Ag: That is actually a really good idea. I like that you've been able to come in and see the whole process. You guys have already shown me a bunch of stuff but I am looking forward to seeing everybody bring in their equipment and the process you have to go through. How many are you expecting today?

Emily: I think we should have about 30 or so growers today at this location and quite a few more at the Quincy location on Thursday. So we have quite a few growers coming in, quite a few orchard managers as well. It's a good opportunity for us on the commercial team to be able to talk to growers. Even growers that don't use Harvista are coming as well. It's a good time for us to be able to educate them on what Harvista does and how it can help their operation. And so we get a little bit of everything today: growers that are interested in using Harvista; and growers that have used it for years coming in to just check in with the operation team, bring their pumps, get them refurbished, and check out everything that has to do with Harvista.

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Julio: And we understand that our growers are in season, right? So we do offer two locations for exactly that to put as least amount of stress as possible. That way we can get the people that are really interested to be able to come out and not have to drive three hours to come see the event.

Emily: Yeah, because our region is so big. We cover currently all of Washington, Oregon, and parts of Idaho. So for us, we have the location here at our Yakima Service Center and then we are in Quincy on Thursday. So we have the taco truck pulling up, we'll have it at both locations. It's good for them to just come in and be in a welcoming environment, to be able to ask all the questions they need for the season. At least we're a little bit early in cherry season now so we should still get quite a few growers today and Thursday that'll be able to come out and talk to us this season.

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Julio: Like Emily stated it's a really, it's an educational stress-free environment, right? When the season comes on you don't have a lot of time to be playing with things. You really want to feel confident that you know what you're doing, that you have what you need. And this is a good opportunity for me for them to meet the kind of the service techs that'll be coming out to help them in case they still need some additional support.

Emily: Yeah a lot of them will get phone numbers for the team, and so they'll just call them and say hey I need help with calibration. They'll be able to just give them a quick phone call. It's good for us to be able to provide a bunch of documentation for them with QR codes, manuals, and training videos, right? We can take this time to how them how to use those tools, how to access them from their phones, even make sure they can access them from their phones so they can use those throughout the season as well.

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