Western Grower & Shipper 2018 05 MayJune

Lorri Koster, Mann Packing-Del Monte

Catherine Fanucchi , Tri-Fanucchi Farms

As leadership of WG, Chandler and Fanucchi play a significant role in advocating for the hard-working farmers and farmworkers who provide over half the nation’s fresh produce and making legislators aware of the value the ag industry brings to the community. “We have been incredibly involved in ag advocacy in Washington and Sacramento with Western Growers members,” said Chandler. “It is vitally important to tell our stories to elected and appointed officials who legislate and regulate our farming operations.” Chandler is also an advocate for ag within higher education. She served on both the California State University Board of Trustees and the University of California Board of Regents to help develop education policy and ensure that students have a pathway to a higher education. In her roles, she consulted on system-wide initiatives that were geared toward shaping students into knowledgeable, highly- skilled professionals that would thrive in industries such as agriculture. “There is a strong synergy between agriculture and higher education as we look for innovators to help us farm smarter and more efficiently,” said Chandler. Rounding out the female leadership on WG’s Board of Directors is Lorri Koster, former chairman and CEO at Mann Packing—a women owned and operated company that was recently acquired by Del Monte Fresh Produce—and currently a

consultant for Del Monte. Koster and her sister, Gina Nucci, brought new meaning to the term “value added.” They created numerous lines of Mann Packing products, such as their Sugar Snap Peas, Broccolini®, Single-Cut Full-Leaf Lettuce, Cauliflower “Fried Rice” Blend, Better Burger Leaf and Nourish Bowls (a ready-to-eat warm meal that is comprised of super foods), which allow consumers to spend more time with their families at the dinner table, rather than prepping and cooking in the kitchen. “Mann Packing’s mission statement says it all—Fresh Veggies Made Easy,” said Koster.

Breaking into a male-dominated field such as agriculture is not easy, but farmHers throughout the nation are making strides and leading the way for all women. In honor of Women’s History Month in March, Western Growers featured stories throughout its social media channels of female farmers who are defying the odds and succeeding as a women in agriculture. To read more about the women who are redefining the typical depiction of rural America, visit facebook. com/westerngrowers or instagram.com/ western_growers.

Bill and Carol Chandler, Chandler Farms

8   Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com   MAY | JUNE 2018

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