Hello, my name is Joel Carter, and it’s my privilege to introduce myself as the newest member of the Okanagan Specialty Fruits team. Yes, I am the son of OSF founders Neal and Louisa Carter, and yes, I have the same name as current OSF employee Joel Brooks.
Farming has always been the most important part of my life, and now it’s the most important part of my work. I have been riding in combines and windrowers since before I was two years old, and I first cut my teeth on orchard work almost 18 years ago.
My love for agriculture is what brought me back to the Okanagan, but to be honest this is far from the true beginning of my work with OSF. I was on the end of a shovel when we broke ground to plant the first Arctic® apple trees 12 years ago. It was my brother and I who brainstormed the Arctic® apple name and developed the logo, and I’ve been thinning, tagging, picking, and planting in our field trials for the past decade. Now I finally get to introduce myself as an “official” member of the team.
It’s such a great time to join OSF, because we are so close to achieving deregulation of Arctic® apples. I know firsthand what a rigorous journey it’s been since I was just 9 years old when my parents founded the company in 1996, but it’s great to be able to contribute more directly now.
Though I have a fairly undefined role, my primary responsibilities for OSF are in the field, working with our nurseries and commercial customers. And, as we continue to grow I’ve been asked to roll up my sleeves and help wherever it’s needed….and that’s okay with me!
For the past year, I’ve also been helping manage our family orchard with my parents, and learning as much as I can about what it takes to be a commercial grower in our rapidly changing industry. Now, I get to take my farming experience and really put it to work!