SALINAS, CA -- The Grower-Shipper Association of Central California held its annual meeting Thursday, May 26, at Corral de Tierra Country Club, here, where Sam McKinsey of Green Giant Fresh by Growers Express was inaugurated as its new chairman of the board in front of more than 100 members and dignitaries.
Mr. McKinsey spoke about a handful of agricultural business that had remained members since the 1940s, citing the Salinas and Pajaro Valley agricultural industry's tremendous endurance and innovative spirit.
He touched on the vast majority of the growing and shipping companies in the Grower-Shipper Association being single or multi-family owned, pointing to strong community values industrywide.
Mr. McKinsey also shared his vision for more agricultural education to local high schools and community colleges by the association in his term, saying that today's students will be future leaders of California Central Coast agriculture.
Mr. McKinsey's excitement for taking the post was palpable. "It's quite an honor to be standing here as your new chairman,” he said in a May 26 press release. “As I look at the pictures of past chairmen and chairwomen on the Grower-Shipper Association's walls, I am proud to be able to do as they did and give back to the local agricultural community in this role."
Outgoing Chairman Steve Church of Church Brothers spoke of the significant accomplishments of the association over the past year and the effect of the chairmanship on him personally. The day's events included a presentation by Anna Caballero, California secretary of state and the Consumer Services Agency and previous Assembly member to the 28th district.
The event concluded with the announcement of the association's annual E.E. (Gene) Harden Award for lifetime achievement in Central Coast agriculture. Mr. McKinsey presented the award to George Tanimura, calling him a true "gentleman farmer." Mr. Tanimura will be presented the award officially at the organization's annual gala to be held this June.
Mr. McKinsey will lead the organization as its Cchairman until May 2012. Margaret D'Arrigo-Martin of D'Arrigo Brothers of California is the vice chairman for 2011-12 year with Mark Borman of Taylor Farms serving as treasurer. In addition to those three, the 2011-12 Grower-Shipper Association’s board of directors will be made up of Phil Adrian of Coastline Produce; Mark Borman of Taylor Farms; Butch Corda of Ippolito International; Mike Costa of Anthony Costa & Sons; Craig Dobler of Dobler & Sons LLC; Ernie Farley of Sundance Berry Farms; David Hart of Royal Packing Co./Dole Fresh Vegetables; Chris Huntington of Hilltown Packing Co.; Bob Martin of Rio Farms and Steve McIntyre of Monterey Pacific & McIntyre Vineyards).
The Grower-Shipper Association of Central California represents over 300 members throughout Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.