raise their children to be farmworkers, but it is becoming equally apparent that the younger generation is not looking to agriculture for even skilled positions. “I see key people retiring and not a lot of people standing in line for those jobs,” he said. He believes continued automation is one answer especially at the farm labor end of the spectrum. As far as professionals are concerned, he admits the drawback is that the ag industry isn’t perceived as “glamorous” as other professions. “At the end of the day, it is a function of supply and demand. To get the needed talent, we will have to get more creative.” A Family Company : Grimmway Farms remains in the hands of the descendants of Rod and Bob with several family members working full-time and others on the company’s board of directors. Besides Brandon, brother Brett, 29, is also working for the Organic Division as a sales associate. His sister, Kellie Merriman is a registered nurse and on the board. He has two other brothers—Chase, 26, and David, 23, who are currently in college but could be joining the family team at some point down the road. In addition, three cousins from Rod’s wing, Bryan, Catie and Melissa, are also involved in the company by serving on the board. A Family Man : Brandon met his wife, Katie, earlier this decade and they were married in 2013. They have been busy ever since, now sporting a family with three kids four years old or younger. Thomas is four, Clara is two and the newest addition, Alice, was born earlier this year. Katie still finds time to work part-time as an occupational therapist at a local hospital, and when Brandon isn’t engaged with the kids, he can be found cycling or horseback riding in Kern County’s rural environment. Western Growers Connection : Brandon’s father, Bob Grimm, served on the Western Growers board for many years, including a stint as chairman of the board in 1998. “I have some very fond memories attending Annual Meetings with my dad when I was just a kid,” he said. Brandon has continued his father’s tradition of being actively involved in the organization as he was a member of the Western Growers Future Volunteer Leaders Class III program. And when his dad’s old seat on the board became vacant following Grimmway’s Kevin Pascoe’s decision to step down, he said it was a natural fit to run for the position last year


RON RATTO, Chairman RYAN TALLEY, Senior Vice Chair ALBERT KECK, Vice Chair CAROL CHANDLER, Treasurer VICTOR SMITH, Executive Secretary THOMAS A. NASSIF, President DIRECTORS – 2019 GEORGE J. ADAM Innovative Produce, Santa Maria, California ALEXANDRA ALLEN Main Street Produce, Santa Maria, CA KEVIN S. ANDREW Vanguard International, 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 GEORGE BOSKOVICH III Boskovich Farms, Oxnard, California NEILL CALLIS Turlock Fruit Company,Turlock, California DON CAMERON Terranova Ranch, Helm, California EDWIN A. CAMP D. M. Camp & Sons, Bakersfield, California CAROL CHANDLER Chandler Farms LP, Selma, California LAWRENCEW. COX Coastline Family Farms, Salinas, 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 FRANZW. DE KLOTZ Richard Bagdasarian Inc., Mecca, 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 FRED P. LOBUE, JR. LoBue Bros., Inc., Lindsay, 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 TOMMULHOLLAND Mulholland Citrus, Orange Cove, California ALEXANDERT. MULLER Pasquinelli Produce Co.,Yuma, Arizona DOMINIC J. MUZZI Muzzi Family Farms, LLC, Moss Landing, California MARK NICKERSON PrimeTime 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 ERICT. REITER Reiter Affiliated Companies, Oxnard, CA JOSEPH A. RODRIGUEZ The Growers Company, Inc., Somerton, Arizona WILL ROUSSEAU Rousseau Farming Company,Tolleson, Arizona VICTOR SMITH JV Smith Companies,Yuma, Arizona KELLY STRICKLAND Five Crowns, Inc., Brawley, California RYANTALLEY Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, California BRUCE C.TAYLOR Taylor Farms California, Salinas, California STUARTWOOLF Woolf Farming & Processing, Fresno, California ROBYRACEBURU Wonderful Orchards, Shafter, California

That phenomenal growth of 300 percent during the 1990s was built on the back of the value-added baby carrot pack during a time when nothing in the produce department was hotter than value-added. Still a Carrot Company : Brandon is proud to reaffirm that Grimmway Farms is still, first and foremost, a carrot company. It has had tremendous growth in many others areas, including organic specialty crops, but carrots are always the driver. In fact, Brandon said Grimmway’s purchase of Cal-Organic Farms in 2001 was fueled by its need to have viable rotation crops in its carrot program. Carrots cannot be grown on the same ground year after year and need to be part of a rotation. Soil- building organic vegetables are often a perfect complement. In fact, the Grimms have turned almost all of the family’s land into organic production The Future Looks Bright : California’s regulatory environment, labor availability, water shortages and increasing costs driven by minimum wage hikes are daunting challenges that have forced Grimmway Farms to look elsewhere to help augment its operations in the Golden State. The company has expanded into both the Northwest and Southeast to help it diversify. But just as at its core, the firm is a carrot company, it’s also a California company. An Aging Workforce : While the four hurdles in the previous paragraph are cause for pause, Brandon said it is the aging workforce in agriculture that he believes is another large challenge facing the industry that can’t be overlooked. It is well-documented that farm laborers don’t



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