A new law designates the Honeycrisp apple as the state fruit.
First introduced in 2005, the bill originated as a writing assignment for a class of students from Andersen Elementary School in Bayport. The students and their teacher, Laurel Avery, decided to take the idea further, and eventually convinced Rep. Mike Charron (R-Woodbury) and Sen. Brian LeClair (R-Woodbury) to carry the actual legislation.
Charron said that Avery and her students, who were present in the House gallery for the bill’s passage, had testified and sat in on House and Senate committee hearings on the bill throughout the process.
“I don’t want you to dismiss this offhand as, ‘This is a nice thing to do for the kids,’” he said. “These students really did do their research. The Honeycrisp apple is worthy of designation as our state fruit.”
The Honeycrisp, a genetically engineered hybrid of the Macoun and Honeygold apple varieties, was developed at the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center starting in the 1960s and formally introduced in 1991. Charron said the apple has become “one of the chief agricultural products in the fruit industry,” and that there are now tens of thousands of trees planted across the United States and more than a million worldwide.
Minnesota is the 21st state to adopt an official state fruit.