picture-91070-1667848266.jpg
Michelle Rivera
Western Growers, Communications Manager

E: [email protected]/P: 949.885.4778 EXT 4778 Michelle Rivera serves as the Communications Manager for Western Growers, where she is responsible for ensuring effective internal and external communications for Western Growers members, industry partners and consumers across all platforms. Michelle has more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience in various industries, including adtech, consumer products […]

Posts By: Michelle Rivera

New Voices of the Valley: Innovations in Cross-Border Health Care for Ag Workers

Cross-border health care is growing in popularity as Mexico increasingly provides innovative, technologically advanced medical services at a cost-savings for employers. In fact, close to a million Americans cross the border every year to receive medical care in Mexico. In this episode of Voices of the Valley, Raquel Lugo, Senior Director of Client Services and Mexico Operations at Western…

Register Now for Upcoming Western Growers University Courses

Western Growers University’s latest in-person training sessions are rapidly approaching, but there’s still time to secure your spot with our experts. Registration is now available for the following courses scheduled for April, May and June, offered in both English and Spanish: Preventing Discrimination and Harassment, Course for Supervisory Employees Preventing Discrimination and…

Stuart Woolf Talks Almonds on this Week’s Voices of the Valley

Almonds have been cultivated for thousands of years, and as it turns out, California is the largest producer of almonds globally, accounting for more than 80% of the world's almond production. In this episode of Voices of the Valley, Stuart Woolf, President and CEO of Woolf Farming & Processing and Chair of the Western Growers Board of Directors, joins Western Growers Communications…

Pinnacle Kicks Off Broker Success Summit Series in Fresno

More than two dozen brokers gathered at Pinnacle Claims Management’s Broker Success Summit in Fresno this week. The event, held at the Table Mountain Casino Resort, was designed to connect and empower brokers with tools and strategies to grow their business and learn more about the benefits of partnering with Pinnacle. Presenters included Kyle Gerdts, VP of Sales and Account Management for…

Bari Weiss to Keynote PAC Luncheon at Western Growers 2024 Annual Meeting

Award-winning journalist and author Bari Weiss will be the PAC Luncheon speaker during the Western Growers 2024 Annual Meeting, which is set for Nov. 3-6 at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona. Bari is the founder and editor of The Free Press and host of the podcast Honestly. She is an ardent believer that the free exchange of ideas is central to a…

Save the Date for the 2024 Western Growers Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars! We are pleased to announce the 98th Western Growers Annual Meeting will be held at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort and Spa on November 3-6, 2024. Set against the stunning backdrop of Scottsdale, Arizona's expansive desert landscape, this premier gathering for agricultural industry leaders promises unparalleled networking opportunities, distinguished…

Farming, the Final Frontier

After 17 successful years of working for NASA as a project manager and systems engineer, Neill Callis ended up taking his career to the unlikeliest of places—agriculture. How on earth does that happen, one has to ask? It wasn’t exactly rocket science, according to Callis. All puns aside, Callis explained that both jobs, while presenting different buckets of challenges, require a similar set…

Cultivating a Diverse Landscape

If there’s one thing Tim Dempsey, Managing Partner of TLC Custom Farming Company, would want people outside of agriculture to know, it’s that the industry offers a breadth of opportunities which extend far beyond the satisfaction of being an integral part of humanity’s basic needs. It also creates an avenue for many people to participate in addressing important issues they may not even…

ETP Announces $10 Million in Funding for Ag Worker Training

California’s Employment Training Panel (ETP) announced $10 million in available funding as part of an Agriculture Initiative designed to serve businesses and workers in agriculture. The funding will be used to provide training for farmworkers and help them gain new skills and career opportunities. For those who want to learn more about the ETP funds for ag worker training, the California…

CARB Halts Enforcement of Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation

On Thursday, Dec. 28, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a notice that it will not enforce its Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants a waiver applicable to those regulatory provisions or determines one is not necessary. Although the Advanced Clean Fleets regulation has been put on hold, CARB is urging “fleets to…

CDFA Now Accepting Applications for Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is making available approximately $12 million in grant funding for Healthy Soils Program (HSP) Incentive Grants. The program’s objectives are “to increase statewide implementation of conservation management practices that improve soil health, sequester carbon and reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases,” according to a press release…

WGCIT Hosts Last “Welcome Wagon” of 2023

The Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas hosted its last “Welcome Wagon” of the year this week to onboard its newest startups to join the Center. Turlock Fruit Company General Manager Neill Callis and WGCIT Director Dennis Donohue welcomed the innovators, discussing the latest agtech initiatives at Western Growers and the best ways for startups to engage…

Rod Braga’s Fresh Take on Sustainability

For farmers, maintaining and improving the land is not a task that can be addressed and set aside after a few years. Farmers have a generational perspective, with a history of their land that can span 25, 50, 75 years and beyond. Braga Fresh President and CEO Rod Braga’s dedication to this approach has established him as an industry leader and trailblazer in sustainable agriculture. “I…

Viticulturalist Steve McIntyre Joins the WGCIT for November Lunch & Learn

The Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas welcomed Steve McIntyre, owner and operator of Monterey Pacific and proprietor of McIntyre Vineyards, as the speaker for its November Lunch & Learn event. Once considered a black sheep in his family for studying wine, McIntyre is today considered one of the most knowledgeable viticulturists in California, with two…

Stay Informed: USDA Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program Webinar

Farmers and producers in California are invited to join the CDFA for a briefing on the USDA Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP), with special guest Silvia Fabela, Senior Advisor on Labor for the Office of Secretary Vilsack. The webinar will take place on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, at 10 a.m. and will cover topics that include eligibility, competitiveness, recruitment,…

Western Grower & Shipper Magazine November/December Digital Edition is Available Now

The November/December digital issue of the Western Grower & Shipper Magazine is available for online viewing. The feature article “Rod Braga’s Fresh Take on Sustainability” details his family’s multigenerational approach to preserving the land, which has helped to establish Rod as an industry leader and trailblazer in sustainable agriculture. President & CEO Dave Puglia…

Register Now for the Organic Grower Summit on Nov. 29-30

Registration is open for the sixth annual Organic Grower Summit, which will take place on Nov. 29-30, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif. Presented by Western Growers and the Organic Produce Network (OPN), the Organic Grower Summit (OGS) is designed to provide information vital for organic growers and producers as well as an overview of the opportunities…

Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Extend Paid Sick Days for California Workers

On Oct. 4, 2023, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 616 by Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) to increase workers’ paid sick leave from three days to five days per year. The bill, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, will also increase the number of accrued paid sick days employees can carry over into the next year. Gov. Newsom’s Office explained the significance of the bill: …

WGCIT’s Dennis Donohue Moderates CSUMB Greater Vision Panel, Joined by CDFA Secretary Karen Ross

California State University-Monterey Bay held its Greater Vision event this week, a forum on agriculture sponsored through a partnership between CSUMB and the Grower Shipper Association Foundation. Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) Director Dennis Donohue was on-hand to moderate its first panel, featuring keynote speaker Karen Ross, Secretary of the California…

AgtechX Ed Summit Focuses on Next Generation of Tech-Savvy Ag Workers

Last week, the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology (WGCIT) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) hosted AgtechX Ed at Mt. San Antonio College as part of an ongoing initiative to develop the next generation of tech-savvy agricultural workers. The half-day event comprised three engaging panels, focusing on industry skills and identification; education…