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Show Me Your Apple

March 23, 1999
By: David Grebe
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 808

JEFFERSON CITY - Show me your - apples? Some lawmakers are moving to make the apple Missouri's official state fruit.

Rep. Pat Naeger, R-Perryville, said school children often notice that Missouri lacks an official fruit - and some apple growers said they agree the omission must be fixed.

"It's been an ongoing process for the last couple of years," said Rick Hufstutter, of Hufstutter Apple Orchard in New Franklin. "It's finally come to fruition."

At least one lawmaker appeared to have concerns.

"My ancestors were grape growers - will there be any opposition from the grape industry?" asked Rep. Beth Long, R-Lebanon. Naeger said the second most common fruit grown in Missouri was the peach - and he hadn't heard of any opposition.

Naeger said Louisiana, Missouri was the site where the red delicious and golden delicious apple varieties were first grafted. He also said Missouri ranks 22nd in apple production.

The apple issue was presented Monday night to the House Tourism Committee which took no immediate action on the idea.

Unfortunately for the apple, and it's supporters, there are so many other bills already awaiting action by the House that bills approved by committee this late in the session faces a less-than polished future.