It will be interesting to see how the next generation of young farmers faces the challenge of producing a sustainable, nutritious, delicious and economical almond crop to our world that is making so many demands on the few who choose to grow the food that sustains us and all of the industries that are part of agriculture. A challenge indeed! God bless the farmers!
Fred reflects, “I was only about 9 or 10 years old when we filmed the commercials for Blue Diamond . I remember it being kind of an exciting thing at that age, especially knowing that I was going to be on TV! The filming process was fun, and the directors had to do lots of takes to get the footage that they wanted. They seemed pretty patient with all of us farmers, considering we had no formal acting training!” Pete and Vicki Bandoni were also featured in the campaign. Pete and his father planted their first family almond orchard when he was 9-years-old. Unfortunately, Pete has passed away since then. Vicki was flattered to be chosen and had never experienced anything like it before. She became instantly recognizable and called it her, “Five minutes of fame.” She added, “For years people who had seen me in a magazine or a billboard would always mention it. I got calls from old friends across the country. I often thought of all the things I have done in my life which I thought were more important and no one noticed, but people remember the Blue Diamond advertisement.” The increase in almond acreage has transformed the industry, but also, technology has evolved. When asked how the industry has changed, Cummings noted the vast innovations beyond the snack nut category such as crackers, flour, and oil, the success of Almond Breeze , and the major improvements throughout Blue Diamond , including the storage capacity at the Salida site. Fred Montgomery believes the biggest change in the industry has been the drastic volume increase of almonds produced. He stated, “The statewide crop back then was probably
only a few hundred million pounds, and now we are producing around three billion!” Technology has also driven the industry forward, “at lightning speed,” according to Vicki Bandoni. She also added, “It will be interesting to see how the next generation of young farmers faces the challenge of producing a sustainable, nutritious, delicious and economical almond crop to our world that is making so many demands on the few who choose to grow the food that sustains us and all of the industries that are part of agriculture. A challenge indeed! God bless the farmers!” Several other Northern growers participated in “Can a Week,” but several have passed away or have retired. Bob Overton participated and has since passed away, but his son Greg Overton continues to farm as a Blue Diamond grower. Chet Rice participated and passed away, but his sons, Darren and Kevin continue to farm as Blue Diamond growers. Stanford McLaughlin participated but has since passed away. Sandy Morimoto was a participant; her parents and uncle were Blue Diamond growers but have since passed. Sandy is a teacher today. The Mead family still belongs to Blue Diamond . Today, the ads can be found online; just type “A can a week, that’s all we ask” into your search browser. The simple phrase is still widely remembered today with its rustic, folksy, and fun concept. We enjoyed speaking with our Blue Diamond Grower “Can a Week” celebrities about their experiences and we are very proud that many of them are still part of the Blue Diamond family.
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