First Fruits

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Employer Summary

The Founding Dream

Broetje Orchards began as a daydream in the mind of Ralph Broetje. At the age of 15, he remembers hearing a missionary from India speak about the suffering of children and then thinking….wouldn’t it be great to have an orchard and help kids some day?!   After marrying his wife, Cheryl in 1967, the two built an organization with an ecumenical approach to both their work and living out their faith.

From their vision, Broetje Orchards became a recognized leader in the apple industry, and for over 25 years has been one of the largest privately owned apple orchards in the United States with more than 6,000 acres of apples and cherries.

The company’s acreage include approximately 5,000 contiguous acres near Prescott, 625 in Benton City and another 550 devoted to certified organic fruit production in Wallula, WA.
Their business-as-ministry focus has developed over these many years seeking to honor the following scripture:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:16, 17 NIV)

This scripture was the source of the company’s official mission statement:  “to be a quality fruit company, committed to bearing fruit that will last.”

Serving as the company’s inspiration, this mission statement reflects Ralph and Cheryl’s early experiences and also how we currently work within the business – developing relationships, building individual’s’ capacities and serving communities.

Our belief is that business does not have to thrive at the expense of the planet or its people, but can chart a course that provides employees, families, owners and communities an opportunity to grow and thrive.