advocate for the agriculture industry as well as a driving force within their own organization. Similarly, Booth Ranches has a well- established internship program that often hires interns as employees. Booth remarks how her pest department’s most recent hire, Georgina Reyes, worked three summers at Booth Ranches while attending Fresno State and today, she is in charge of maintaining a majority of the north region of the Booth Ranches properties. She joins Kaycee Reeves as the second female Agricultural Pest Control Advisor for the farm. “The fact that we have two women PCAs is quite unusual in the agriculture industry. To add to that, we have Tracy who leads our sales department. I don’t know many organizations in California where their head of sales is a woman,” said Booth. Booth notes how establishing a strong female presence among the executive team and throughout the organization was unintentional, however, incredibly beneficial. She is proud to oversee and be part of a company that has broken the mold of the typical male-dominated agriculture industry. “We have not only been open to hiring women, but we have been successful at it. I encourage more companies to do it,” said Booth. “A shout out to the men that work for us, too. No matter what the gender, we have a terrific team.” Today, women comprise a substantial percentage of Booth Ranches’ full-time workforce.

just to be part of the effort to feed the world. Teresa Barone, who Booth recently hired to serve as CFO, contracted and beat COVID-19. While battling the virus, Barone insisted on working from home and as soon as she fully recovered she was back in the office to support the industry. “I suggested a slow transition back but Teresa is tough and couldn’t wait to get back to the office. She’s the kind of leader who is not afraid to jump in, take chances and ask, ‘What are we going to do about this?’” said Booth. “Women are strong and they get it done.” In addition to hiring women to fill executive level positions, Booth Ranches makes it a priority to identify and develop future leaders within the company. Tracy Jones joined the farm in 2009 and worked her way up the ranks to now serve as the vice president of sales and marketing. Similarly, Moniza Zaragoza came to Booth Ranches through USA Staffing— the staffing organization that supplies workers for the farm’s two packing plants. After years of continually stepping up and identifying innovative solutions to improve efficiency in the packing house, Zaragoza was hired by Booth to be a lead at Booth Ranches Plant 2. “I love to hire from within and see people grow like a dandelion. It’s my favorite part of the business,” said Booth. Booth has developed a culture of growth, where employees are supported in their pursuit of a higher education and have ample opportunities to participate in professional development activities. Since taking her entire farming operation

in-house in the year 2000, Booth has sponsored numerous children of employees in their quest to receive a university degree. Additionally, in an effort to promote personal and professional growth, she hosts workshops and sends employees to classes where they can learn additional skills and enhance their knowledge. She also encourages her staff to apply for opportunities such as the California Agricultural Leadership Program to gain the training needed to be an effective

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