News Releases

September 21, 2015

Ninth Annual Apples to iPods Contest Kicks Off a Banner Apple Harvest

In preparation for a banner year, Vermont's pick-your-own orchards will offer a chance to win an Apple product during the "Apples to iPods" promotion now underway.

"We're looking at one of the best crops in years -- possibly topping one million bushels," said Steve Justis, Executive Director of the Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association. "We had heavy rain early in the season, but the honeybees stepped up to provide excellent pollination and fruit set. The rest of the summer has given us excellent growing conditions."

Justis went on to say the annual Apples to iPods contest has been an effective promotion for Vermont's apple industry.

"Our growers really love the Apples to iPods program," he said. "For the past several years, the program has encouraged families - especially teens -- to visit, explore and pick apples."

In this technology-meets-agriculture contest, one specially-marked wooden apple is hidden in an apple tree at 24 Vermont pick-your-own apple orchards. The lucky apple picker who finds a wooden apple wins a randomly selected Apple iPod, iPod Shuffle or iPad.

This good-natured promotion of Vermont's working landscape is in partnership with Woodchuck Hard Cider, Small Dog Electronics, Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The State of Vermont first launched this promotion in 2007 to encourage people to visit Vermont's pick-your-own orchards.

Vermont's nearly 4,000 acres of commercial apple orchards produce leading apple varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious and Empire. In 1999, the Vermont legislature designated the apple as the state fruit, and the apple pie as the state pie.

"Apple picking is a family tradition. In true Vermont fashion, the Apples to iPods contest makes this fall event even more fun for families," said Megan Smith, Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. "Visiting an orchard is the perfect way to experience Vermont's gorgeous autumn landscape and participate in a festive and family-friendly activity."

This promotion also includes an opportunity to Pick for Your Neighbor. Individuals, families, civic, school and corporate groups are invited to visit a participating orchards to pick and purchase extra apples to donate to the Vermont Foodbank. Since 2009, Pick for Your Neighbor made nearly 63,500 pounds of apples available to Vermonters in need.

"Pick for Your Neighbor is a win for all involved," Michelle Wallace, Director of Community Health and Fresh Food Initiatives at the Vermont Foodbank, said. "Orchards see an economic benefit from increased sales; the foodbank has access to fresh, local apples for distribution; and participants experience a great Vermont tradition while helping their neighbors in need."

For a list of participating orchards, please visit and plan your trip at

Contact: Laura Peterson, Vermont Dept. of Tourism & Marketing,, 802.522.7323

Source: Department of Tourism and Marketing
Last Updated at: September 21, 2015 16:53:51