Chairman’s Speech 2021 Annual Growers Meeting I’m privileged to have served as Board Chairman for the past seven years and as your District 1 director since 2006. I’m especially proud to say I’m a third generation Blue Diamond grower. I’d like to thank all our presenters in the annual meeting sessions as well as our sponsors and exhibitors for your support — Farm Credit, Bank of America, Semios, Suterra, Dave Wilson Nursery, Burchell Nursery, Teleos Ag Solutions, UnitedAg, Flory Industries, and Netafim. Congratulations and welcome to our new Board Members — George te Velde from District 4 and Nick Blom from District 6. I’d also like to welcome our newest Board Member at Large, Kristin Daley, who joined us back in August and brings 30 years of experience in the food and ag industry in both strategy consulting and operations. Thank you to Charlie Crivelli and Kevin Fondse for their commitment to the Board and service to the co-op. Our appreciation goes out to the rest of our Board members for their continued leadership: Vice Chairman Dale Van Groningen – District 3; Matt Efird – District 8; Dan Mendenhall – District 7; Kent Stenderup – District 9; John Monroe – District 2; Steve Van Duyn – District 5; and our other Director at-large Joe Huston. Your work on behalf of this cooperative is key to our success.
Dan Cummings Chairman of the Board
Thank you to all Grower Liaison Committee Members — we appreciate your dedication to our co-op.
Rising to the Challenge, our theme for this annual meeting, is a true testament to the obstacles we’ve overcome, starting with our record 3.1 billion-pound crop. It’s truly amazing what our co-op has been able to accomplish over the last 12 months. We started the year by harvesting a record-sized crop larger than any we’d delivered before, and ended with a summer filled with water supply and drought concerns that forced tough decisions on the part of many of us. But in looking back over the year, it is how we worked through the adversity and rose to the challenge that really showcased the strength of our cooperative. One of the ways our growers demonstrated their strength is through an unwavering commitment to sustainability and to being stewards of the lands we farm. To further emphasize our co-op’s commitment to Sustainability, this year we introduced the Blue Diamond Orchard Stewardship Incentive Program to encourage participation in the Almond Board’s California Almond Sustainability Program, or CASP. I am thrilled to report that one-third of the growers who participated in the program achieved the Gold level; and approximately two-thirds achieved Silver level and Bronze levels. Thank you to all Blue Diamond members who participated in the assessment this year. Congratulations and thank you for your commitment! This dedication to stewardship and to doing the right thing is the very essence of the award I have the privilege of awarding to one Blue Diamond grower each year. The Chairman’s Ambassador of the Year award recognizes outstanding service and unwavering commitment to the overall success of the Blue Diamond cooperative.
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