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The Tanimura family announced the loss of their family patriarch and agricultural legend George Tanimura. Mr. Tanimura died peacefully at his home in Salinas, CA, on April 15. He was 100.

Mr. Tanimura was born in San Juan Bautista on July 2, 1915, to Eijiro Kimoto and Yukino Tanimura. While attending grammar school in Castroville, Mr. Tanimura thinned iceberg lettuce on his father’s small farm. After his mother died, he, the eldest son of his 12 siblings, was compelled to quit school to farm with his father. Mr. Tanimura quickly learned how to work.0010---George-TanimuraGeorge Tanimura

Shortly thereafter, in the midst of the Great Depression Ejiro, Mr. Tanimura’s father, died, leaving Mr. Tanimura with the responsibility for the family. He managed the family business while his sister Chisato returned from Japan to care for the children. The family moved into a ranch house in Aromas. As a young patriarch, he was required to guide the family through numerous historical and economic challenges thus developing his stern but loving way.

During World War II, Mr. Tanimura and members of his family were removed from their farms and placed in internment camps in Poston, AZ. Although he lost everything during his internment, he managed to find the love of his life, Masaye Yamauchi. They were married in the camp on Sept. 21, 1944, and last year they celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. Masaye has been by his side every step of their journey and even this week, remained by his side.

Following the War, the Tanimura family began rebuilding their lives performing manual labor in the fields in Gilroy. Through hard work and the strong bonds of respect, love, and cooperation, Mr. Tanimura and his brothers created a dynamic and successful farming enterprise. The Tanimura family farmed small patches of land, saved the profits, and ultimately purchased their first acre of land. This simple formula began the Tanimura’s trek towards the American Dream.

In 1948, the Tanimura Family began a farming relationship with another agricultural legend, Bud Antle. Shortly thereafter, the Tanimuras began to grow exclusively for Bud Antle Inc. Antle, and his son, Bob Antle, began working closely with the Tanimura family for over 34 years. In 1982 this relationship culminated in the formation of Tanimura & Antle. Mr. Tanimura along with his brothers, Charlie, Johnny, Tommy and Bobby, and nephews, Gary and Keith, formed Tanimura & Antle with Bob Antle and his sons Rick and Mike. This partnership joined the Tanimura growing expertise with the Antle packing, marketing and shipping expertise. Mr. Tanimura and Bob Antle became inseparable partners and co-chairmen of the board as they worked together to successfully lead Tanimura & Antle to become the premier agriculture company in the world.

The partnership is marked by years of agricultural industry leadership and serves as an icon in the family farming enterprises of the Salinas Valley. Tanimura & Antle was far more than a business for Mr. Tanimura; it was his life. Lettuce prices, transplant technology, new hydroponic varieties, and any other farming related topic dominated the discussions with Mr. Tanimura. His continued commitment will live on because he instilled this drive and passion in everyone around him.

Mr. Tanimura served in many leadership positions within the Tanimura family companies, the Tanimura & Antle companies, charities, and community organizations. Mr. Tanimura was also the recipient of several distinctive honors and recognitions. Because they always made him uncomfortable, he downplayed these accomplishments. He avoided any fanfare and attempted to quietly stay in the background.

According to T&A, Mr. Tanimura personally participated in every farming innovation in the Salinas Valley. When it happened, he was not only involved, but he was an active player. One of his most passionate projects was drip irrigation. He advocated the use of this technology to improve farming practices and reduce water usage long before it was a necessity or government mandate.

Everyone in the family looked to Mr. Tanimura to lead the discussion, share his wisdom, and ultimately make the family decisions. Family was very important to Mr. Tanimura, but so was farming. His pride and joy was the Tres Picos Ranch in Huron, CA. He enjoyed visits to Huron at least once a week and during the season multiple times a week even during his hundredth year. Being on the ranch always brought him peace and happiness. If you drove to Tres Picos with Mr. Tanimura, it would not be an early night. Stopping for pickled pig’s feet at Woolgrowers in Los Banos was a late night Tuesday tradition.

In July 2014, Mr. Tanimura celebrated the beginning of his 100th year with a milestone centennial birthday celebration with family, business partners and friends. Over 600 people joined together to honor and respect the highly regarded Salinas family farmer. In July 2015, he quietly celebrated his actual 100th birthday surrounded by his wonderful family eating his favorite Saba sushi.

All who knew Mr. Tanimura loved him. His presence and influence will be greatly missed.

Mr. Tanimura is survived by his wife Masaye, son, Glenn (Sheila) Tanimura and daughter Leslie (Ken) Morishita, grandchildren Chris (Becky) Tanimura, Erin, Ryan and Kelly Tanimura, and great grandchildren Makenzie, Jaklyn, and Karter Tanimura. He is also survived by his brother Tommy (Hisako) Tanimura; his sister-in-law, Sachi Tanimura, wife of his late brother Johnny and sister Rose Yuki. George was predeceased by Chisato Tanimura, Tame (Masato) Nakano, Charlie (Fumi) Tanimura, Alice (Ben) Sato, Johnny Tanimura, Betty (Kaz) Furusho, Benjamin Tanimura, Hiroko Tanimura, Bobby Tanimura, and Tamotsu Tanimura.

The viewing will be held Saturday, April 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Struve & Laporte Funeral Chapel located at 41 W San Luis Street, Salinas, CA, 93901. The funeral and memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 24 at 1 p.m. at the Buddhist Temple of Salinas located at 14 California Street, Salinas, CA 93901.

The Tanimura family has asked that anyone wishing to honor Mr. Tanimura with a donation, please donate to the Tanimura Family Foundation, P.O. Box 4070, Salinas, CA 93912.

Research firms, restaurant and hospitality consultants and others tasked with predicting and following food trends are acknowledging the surge in fruit and vegetable consumption, along with the reduction in the amount of meat protein being consumed. The increased use of fresh produce, especially specialty items, is said to be trending strongly in 2016.P1040597Big luscious beets, a powerhouse of nutrition.

Baum + Whiteman, international food and restaurant consultants, headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, lists “Vegetables Step Up to the Plate” as number four on its list of the “11 Hottest Food & Beverage Dining Trends in Restaurants and Hotels, 2016.”

The report states that we’ve reached a tipping point for vegetables, and they are pushing animal protein to the side of the plate, or entirely off it.

Relentlessly rising beef prices, horror over hormones, a scramble for ever-more antioxidants, health-and-diet concerns, growth of farmers markets, locavore drummers and increasing numbers of flexitarians have combined to result in what will be a great year for fresh produce.

The report adds that it is beneficial that vegetables are more seasonal than animals, adding menu excitement for restaurants recognizing that buying seasonally reduces food costs and keeps menus fresh.

The transforming idea is that veg-forward restaurants no longer sell food tasting like punishment. They're serving great meals composed mostly — or entirely — of vegetables that are great to look at, satisfyingly memorable and compatible with wine.

Global Food Forums Inc. offers unique, practical information for use in the development of food, beverage and nutritional products. It compiles consumer and product trend data, and regulatory and nutrition information from a plethora of resources on applied food science and technology.

It credits Alexandra Duron at The Thrillist with its list of hot 2016 food trends, which includes the continued increase in the consumption of berries. Although it finger-points to black raspberries as having three times the amount of antioxidants than its red raspberry cousin, it acknowledges that berries in general are chock-full of them.

Whole Foods Market’s product experts also include fresh produce in its top 10 food trends for this year. The company says that heirloom ingredients are making a comeback, and that plants are playing a meatier role in a surprising number of products, and not just for vegan and vegetarian alternatives.

The magazine Today’s Dietitian surveyed several nutrition experts to determine what products and categories will be the most popular this year. It noted beets, especially juiced, as a good thing because they are rich in betalains, antioxidant compounds folate and fiber, and the minerals manganese, potassium, copper and magnesium.

Comax 2016 Flavor Trends also highlight the produce aisle. Its 2016 flavor trend report states that as part of the health and wellness lifestyle trend, consumers are looking for natural, less-processed, better-for-you products. Naturally, consumers are gravitating toward green vegetables and fruits, putting them in the limelight. Flavors in this group include avocado, pear, broccoflower and green jackfruit.

And Innova Market Insights’ Top Ten Trends for 2016 includes a green light for vegetables. It states that consumers know that they need to eat more greens, but shy away because of taste expectations. Children can be encouraged to eat more through hidden vegetable products, while the rise of fusion smoothies and high vegetable pastas indicates that adults can also be encouraged to increase their intake.

With health and nutrition on everyone’s trend list for 2016, the stars are nicely aligned for increased consumption of specialty fruits and vegetables.

Black Gold Farms has been growing fresh red potatoes in Pearsall, TX — about an hour down Interstate 35 from San Antonio — since 2011. But the 88-year-old, fourth-generation family-owned operation has actually been farming potatoes in Pearsall since 1992, focusing on growing potatoes specifically for potato chips as they gained understanding of how to get the highest quality from the unique growing conditions in the Lone Star State.  The 2016 crop of Texan reds are looking great, and are right on track for a record harvest beginning the first week of May.Texas LocallyGrown 5x4

Black Gold Farms is ready to support this season’s Texan reds with consumer offers and sweepstakes, display contests, in-store communication, including retailer-specific Kwik Loks, posters and signs as well as social media activities, produce associate training initiatives and even hands-on tours of its Pearsall farm.

In an October 2015 Harris poll, 67 percent of Americans said it is important to buy locally grown/sourced produce — more than any other food category — and sales of locally raised produce, including red potatoes, are increasing rapidly. "This is why Black Gold Farms is excited to announce a significant expansion to their successful locally grown program in 2016, with North Carolina being added to a roster that already includes Missouri, Indiana and Texas, plus Minnesota slated to come onboard in 2017," the company said in a release.

“This is shaping up to be our finest crop of red potatoes yet,” Jay Yates, farm manager for Black Gold’s Pearsall operation, said in the release.

“And our Texas customers are eager to get their hands on them,” added Keith Groven, fresh sales manager.  “These operators have witnessed the demand that Texas-grown red potatoes can generate, and they know that they can command a premium price for the superior quality we deliver”.

marshThis week Marsh Supermarkets reduced prices on more than 1,800 of the items most regularly purchased by its customers as part of its commitment to make shopping for the best in fresh food more affordable. This price-reduction initiative is part of a new Marsh campaign called “Better Food Now Has a Better Price.”

“Our customers tell us our fresh foods are the best in the market and now we are making our most popular grocery items even more affordable,” Tom O’Boyle, Marsh’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We want to help our customers access our quality and selection at even better prices.”

Marsh’s lower-priced items are highlighted in ads, as well as in stores with shelf tags and signage and are available for home delivery and curbside pickup via their online shopping partner Instacart.

Headquartered in Indiana, Marsh operates 72 Marsh Supermarkets and O’Malia Food Markets in Indiana and Ohio.

The Southeast Produce Council is proud to announce the celebrity guests who will be attending this year’s Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic. Both golf and racing personalities will make appearances during the annual charity and networking event taking place on May 18-19 at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC.Richard-Petty-with-Victory-Junction-CamperRichard Petty with a Victory Junction camper.

Kyle Petty, co-host for NASCAR America on NBCSN, is an American stock car racing driver who formerly competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Petty maintains a close connection to Victory Junction, one of the event’s two benefitting charities.

Nationally and globally recognized Shannon McIntosh will also be in attendance. McIntosh, who has collected more than 100 wins in her career, has experience in a variety of racing formats, from stock cars to open wheel cars. McIntosh currently resides in North Carolina pursuing her NASCAR career and writes for AOL’s Autoblog.Shannon-McIntoshShannon McIntosh

From the golf world, Rocky (Rockstar) Shipes, a golf entertainer, professional long driver, coach and motivational speaker, will wow guests with a golf show that has been hailed “golf’s most entertaining and athletic show.” This will be the second year Shipes will attend the event.

 “We’re honored to have these four celebrities make appearances to help benefit Victory Junction and the Produce for Better Health Foundation while adding excitement to this popular industry event,”  David Sherrod, executive director of the Southeast Produce Council, said in a press release. “Combined with our new educational workshop covering Produce for Better Health’s 2015 State of the Plate report, auctions to benefit two charities, a scramble-style golf tournament and a variety of networking events, this year’s charity golf classic will be one you won’t want to miss.”

With just one month before the event kickoff on May 18, the Southeast Produce Council encourages industry professionals to register before the event sells out. To find out more and register for the Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic, visit seproducecouncil.com.