1928: Advertising campaign is launched to educate Eastern buyers of the value of “iceberg” lettuce grown in the West. 1930s: WG members head to D.C. to lobby on behalf of the establishment of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. WG representatives have been going to D.C. for many years, with their CEO spending weeks there at a time during World War II to represent agriculture. 1942: Name is changed to Western Growers Association 1945: WG launches a Research Department to undertake a study on pre- packaging for grower-shippers. The department got involved in many areas including the relative merits of fresh vs. frozen produce. 1946: WG establishes a lab in Pasadena staffed by a biochemist, two plant pathologists and a physiologist. The program also supported a consumer relations campaign. 1957: Western Growers Assurance Trust is launched to provide health and accident insurance to Teamsters. The insurance programs offered would multiply over the years and cover many different aspects of a grower-shipper’s operation. 1966: PACA Dispute Resolution Department is established. 1967: Western Growers Pension Trust is established to provide retirement income to union workers. 1970s: WG was instrumental in launching research programs for many commodities, including tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, melons and strawberries. It managed four of those programs for many years. 1972: Western Growers Legal Assistance Department is established with 17 lawyers across the state providing legal services, especially in the labor dispute arena, to members. 1972: Western Growers Political Action Committee gets involved in advocating for individual candidates for the first time. 1973: Western Growers sponsors its first fresh produce trade show in a foreign country (Japan). WG would participate in and sponsor many export efforts over the next 25 years. 1980: Government Affairs office is opened in Sacramento. Phoenix office is opened five years later and a dedicated Washington D.C. office is opened in 2007. 1995: Western Growers develops and releases first-ever best agricultural practices guide. 2001: WG launches a Science & Technology Department. 2002: WG launches School Garden program. 2006: The Western Growers Transportation Program is launched to address rising rates and truck shortages. 2015: Colorado is added as third state under the WG umbrella. New Mexico would be added several years later. 2015: The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology is established to help bring high-tech solutions to the agricultural space. 2016: Western Growers Family of Companies consolidates more than 300 employees in four buildings to one headquarters location in Irvine.
WESTERN GROWERS OFFICERS – 2021 RYAN TALLEY, Chairman ALBERT KECK, Senior Vice Chair STUART WOOLF, Vice Chair CAROL CHANDLER, Treasurer VICTOR SMITH, Executive Secretary DAVE PUGLIA, President & CEO DIRECTORS – 2021 GEORGE J. ADAM Innovative Produce, Santa Maria, California ALEXANDRA ALLEN Main Street Produce, Santa Maria, California KEVIN S. ANDREW Illume Agriculture, Bakersfield, California ROBERT K. BARKLEY Barkley Ag Enterprises LLP, Yuma, Arizona STEPHEN J. BARNARD Mission Produce, Inc., Oxnard, California BARDIN E. BENGARD Bengard Ranch, Salinas, California LOREN BOOTH Booth Ranches, Orange Cove, California GEORGE BOSKOVICH III Boskovich Farms, Oxnard, California RODNEY BRAGA Braga Ranch, Soledad, California NEILL CALLIS Turlock Fruit Company, Turlock, California EDWIN A. CAMP D. M. Camp & Sons, Bakersfield, California CAROL CHANDLER Chandler Farms LP, Selma, California LAWRENCE W. COX Lawrence Cox Ranches, Brawley, California STEPHEN F. DANNA Danna Farms, Inc., Yuba City, California JOHN C. D’ARRIGO D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, Salinas, California THOMAS DEARDORFF II Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, California FRANZ W. DE KLOTZ Peter Rabbit Farms, Coachella, California SAMUEL D. DUDA Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc., Salinas, California CATHERINE A. FANUCCHI Tri-Fanucchi Farms Inc., Bakersfield, California DAVID L. GILL Rio Farms, King City, California BRANDON A. GRIMM Grimmway Farms, Arvin, California JOHN JACKSON Beachside Produce, LLC, Nipomo, California A. G. KAWAMURA Orange County Produce, LLC, Irvine, California ALBERT KECK Hadley Date Gardens, Thermal, California J.P. LABRUCHERIE LaBrucherie Produce, El Centro, California FRANK MACONACHY Ramsay Highlander, Inc., Gonzales, California JOHN S. MANFRE Frank Capurro and Son, Moss Landing, California STEPHEN MARTORI III Martori Farms, Scottsdale, Arizona HAROLD MCCLARTY HMC Farms, Kingsburg, California TOM MULHOLLAND Mulholland Citrus, Orange Cove, California ALEXANDER T. MULLER Pasquinelli Produce Co., Yuma, Arizona DOMINIC J. MUZZI Muzzi Family Farms, LLC, Moss Landing, California MARK NICKERSON Prime Time International, Coachella, California THOMAS M. NUNES The Nunes Company, Inc., Salinas, California STEPHEN F. PATRICIO Westside Produce, Firebaugh, California RON RATTO Ratto Bros. Inc., Modesto, California CRAIG A. READE Bonipak Produce, Inc., Santa Maria, California ERIC T. REITER Reiter Affiliated Companies, Oxnard, California JOSEPH A. RODRIGUEZ The Growers Company, Inc., Somerton, Arizona WILL ROUSSEAU Rousseau Farming Company, Tolleson, Arizona VICTOR SMITH JV Smith Companies, Yuma, Arizona RYAN TALLEY Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, California BRUCE C. TAYLOR Taylor Farms California, Salinas, California STUART WOOLF Woolf Farming & Processing, Fresno, California ROB YRACEBURU Wonderful Orchards, Shafter, California
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2021
Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com
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