Date: Jan 01, 2013
January 2013 - New Seed Variety Issue

It’s not every day you have the opportunity to reach more than 400 million households with your message.  But that’s just what Western Grower Member Crown Jewels Produce did in December, with a program featured on the Discovery Channel.

The company based in Fresno, Calif. is featured on “The American Farmer,” a show that helps educate the public on various topics in agriculture, including technology and sustainability from dairy to grains – and this time produce.  Crown Jewels Co-Owner Atomic Torosian said they couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to be featured on the program.  “Any time we can educate the consumer on what we do in our agricultural business I think we all need to take advantage of it and hopefully help buoy the consumption of fresh produce,” he said.  “With constant change in our instant media, via the internet, social media, QR codes, traceability, food safety, the farm to table aspect is not as easy as one might think.”

The 20-minute segment premiered at 6:30 a.m. (for all time zones) Dec. 18., with additional showings on the Discovery Channel.  It will also air numerous times on the Rural Farm Delivery (RFD) Network and Ag Network, both on Dish and Direct TV, adding an additional 45 million households.

Chad Densen, production manager for “American Farmer,” said they couldn’t have picked a better company to work with.  He said it’s the family atmosphere at Crown Jewels that really shines through.  “They’re only as good as their growers and their relationships with their growers,” he said.

And those relationships are strong — it was obvious in working with them, Densen added.

Their goal in producing “American Farmer” is to help people understand how all aspects of ag come together and how growers, shippers and packers help feed a growing population — and how they do it in a sustainable way, Densen said.  When you sit down to eat a sandwich, he said it’s the idea of everything on it — from the bread, to the meat to the cheese to the lettuce — how to help the public understand how it got to his or her plate.  “It’s really amazing what’s involved,” he said.

Torosian said they’re very excited about sharing the produce industry with the public.  They shot the show over the summer and will feature the industry insights and operations in California with an emphasis on Crown Jewels and its partners.  “There’s a lot of history,” he said, “It shows the down-to-earth American farmer; how they’re toiling in the fields.”

And with some of Crown Jewels partners dating back to the Civil War era, the program features history and the process from field harvesting, picking, packing — the whole process, he said.  “All of our growers are very unique and dynamic in their field and are constantly making improvements culturally and working through all of the challenges of food safety, water and labor issues.”

With Discovery Channel and the other broadcast stations’ broad reach, people in 40 different countries will get the opportunity to understand the produce industry just a little better, Torosian said.  When “American Farmer” approached Torosian in the spring, he’d heard of the show and seen several episodes.  He said he thought about what they could bring to the table — and with typically only one produce company chosen by the show a year, it was an honor.

Shooting lasted about three months.  “I didn’t realize there was that much to it,” Torosian said of the shooting, the editing, and the overall schedule.  But the end result is worth it: Now America and many others across the world will be able to see the fruits of their labor — and understand the fresh fruit and vegetable industry just a little better.

For more information about “American Farmer,” including how you can see the full episode featuring Crown Jewels, visit:

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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live. 

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