Loading…

Turek Farms heads into Southern Exposure with sweet corn on its mind

Jason Turek, a partner in both Turek Farms and its marketing arm, Cayuga Produce Inc., noted being a family-owned grower and shipper of fresh market vegetables means dedicating 100 percent to the business at all times and looking for growth opportunities.

One of the ways it does the latter is by attending produce shows and the SEPC Southern Exposure Conference has long been one of his favorites.

“There’s no better way to catch up with all your friends and people you do business with than by hitting these conferences,” he said. “It would take weeks trying to go around the country trying to catch everyone. This is a real relaxing atmosphere and lets you get business done.”

IMG 0434While Turek Farms is almost all about sweet corn in spring, the company is growing throughout other seasons. Turek Farms has been one of SEPC’s exhibitors since the show first started, and will be back behind a booth this year as well. In total five people will be representing Turek, including people from Belle Grade, FL-SM Jones & Co., which it is part owner of.

“We pretty much just put a slideshow together of what’s going on at the farm. We don’t bring product because we feel like people are just there to see us and there’s not a whole lot of fluff,” Turek said. “The show does a pretty good job of letting people know who is going to be there and who is pre-registered, so we reach out to people and try to get them to come to the booth or sit down for a face-to-face meeting.”

A veteran exhibitor at SEPC, Turek has always like the intimacy of the show, even though he admits it’s gotten bigger and bigger every year.

“Anyone who is anyone in the produce business is at this show,” he said. “Everyone has the same-size booth and that helps to keep things intimate, but attendance is way up from what it used to be. After all, it’s pretty easy to talk people into going to Florida in the winter time.”

Turek expects to be talking sweet corn at the show, and trying to get everyone geared up for the spring and spring-time promotions surrounding the product.

“It’s our major thing, and it gets hot and heavy pretty much from April through Labor Day,” Turek said. “Crop wise, so far from Homestead has been nice and on schedule, and the weather has been pretty favorable.”

Still, he knows that things can change quickly and Turek is no stranger to some of the worst freezes in March. But he likes the indications for the season he sees so far.

“Last year was a strange year. The Northeast was probably the latest, slowest season we’ve had in 25-30 years, and the Southeast was pushing forward and burning up, creating a big void in July with a lot of demand and little product,” Turek said. “The price went up. We love to get some of those high markets but I think it sometimes stifles business. The Midwest was also hurt last year and a lot of acres did not get planted. Our farm, we were probably down 10 percent acre-wise because it was too wet to plant it.”

While Turek Farms is almost all about sweet corn in spring, the company is growing throughout other seasons.

“For us, the fall category for us continues to grow, with increases in pumpkins and hard squash,” Turek said. “Stuff in the fall arena has really gotten bigger for us. We used to be able to push corn through September, but in the Northeast, everyone seems to reset at Labor Day and is looking for fall produce.”

Students gain real world experience thanks to L&M internships
The future of the produce industry will depend largely on new people being introduced to the field, which is why L&M Cos. offers internships based on seasonal needs throughout the L&M farms, warehouses and sales teams. “Intern programs in fresh produce are great exposure for young people to be a part of a vital industry,” Read More ...
New Whole Foods Market features 75 local growers
Whole Foods Market recently opened a new 35,000-square-foot store in East Austin, TX. Special features of the new East Austin store include: Produce department offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including selections from about 75 local growers throughout the year including fresh flowers, peaches and Read More ...
Retailer announces plans to rebuild
CUB and its franchise partner Jerry’s Foods announced its commitment to the Minneapolis community to rebuild its Broadway Avenue and Lake Street stores, both of which are owned by Jerry’s Foods. CUB also announced that while those two locations remain closed, CUB plans to open temporary community stores at each location to Read More ...
Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
California-based variety development and licensing company Sun World International LLC has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region. This follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered Read More ...
Fall Creek names regional director for Mexico
Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., a global blueberry breeding and nursery company, has announced that Alberto Medina-Mora has joined the company as regional director for Mexico. Most recently, Medina-Mora served as senior director of development and innovation at NatureSweet Mexico, a vertically integrated tomato grower, Read More ...

Market Watch

the source pro-act

Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse