Robert Victor (Bob) Antle
Robert V. (Bob) Antle, died on Sunday, August 3, 2014, at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital with his family at his side.
Mr. Antle was born on November 10, 1935, in Watsonville, CA, to Lester (Bud) and Delores (Polly) Antle. Family always came first for Bob. He met the woman of his dreams while attending Watsonville High School and happily continued a 58-year love affair and marriage to his beloved wife, Sue. Their four children produced 21 grandchildren and one very special first great-grandson. Time away from work always included supporting any and all of his family’s individual endeavors.
Mr. Antle was the recent recipient of the Grower-Shipper Association’s E.E. (Gene) Harden Award for Lifetime Achievement in Central Coast Agriculture. This honor celebrated Bob for his lasting and significant contributions to agriculture as well as his extensive and longtime generosity to many philanthropic and educational institutions and endeavors throughout the community. In 2009, Mr. Antle was awarded the Ben Heller Award by the Center for Community Advocacy for his courage and leadership in supporting farm workers. In 2013, the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council of the Boy Scouts honored Bob with The Growing of Future Leaders Award.
While a student in 1949, he joined his father, Bud Antle, and grandfather, Lester Antle, at the family’s lettuce harvest operation. During this time, he worked as a loader, met the Tanimura family and developed the relationships that eventually led to the formation of Tanimura & Antle, Inc. After graduating from Stanford, his first job was directing the company’s carrot business. He then moved into sales and marketing, eventually becoming the general sales manager.
In the mid-60s, he relocated to the East Coast to develop House of Bud, a wholesaler of fruits and vegetables. Under his leadership and direction, House of Bud opened facilities in several locations.
In 1972, after his father Bud Antle passed away at age 58, Bob became chief executive officer of all Antle entities. After six years of further developing and growing these businesses, he merged the Bud Antle companies with Castle & Cooke, Inc. (now Dole Food Co. Inc.) and joined its senior management. Mr. Antle served on the Castle & Cooke board of directors until 1982.
After his departure from Castle & Cooke, Bob, along with his sons, Rick and Mike, formed Tanimura & Antle with George Tanimura and his family. This partnership joined the Antles’ strong packing and shipping expertise with the Tanimuras’ growing expertise.
Bob Antle and George Tanimura became co-chairmen of the board when the partnership formalized and the two families combined more than 50 years of mutual friendship, respect and experience. Mr. Antle was known as a great leader and mentor to so many in the company and industry. He is credited with implementing several major produce industry initiatives such as wrapping fresh vegetables in the field (1960), developing distribution centers for the introduction of wrapped lettuce and other source packaged fruits and vegetables (1965), and producing crop transplants (1970).
Antle was a very active member of the community involved in many groups including the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute, Pinnacalitos Chalone LP, the President's Council at California State University Monterey Bay, and the Central Coast Water Quality Preservation, Inc. He also actively supported the University of Arizona. One of Bob’s proudest accomplishments was the establishment of the Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library at California State University, Monterey Bay.
Ed Baloian, patriarch of Baloian Farms, Fresno, CA, died on Aug. 2, at the age of 92. Despite health problems over the last few years, Mr. Baloian was a constant presence at the office every day until the last few weeks.
A second-generation farmer and the son of an Armenian immigrant, Mr. Baloian began his agricultural career working with his father growing and selling fruits and vegetables throughout the Fresno, CA, area.
He served in the military during World War II and returned home to Fresno to continue growing his family and his business. The first family business was the Charles Baloian Co., a wholesale distribution company that he owned with his father and brother. In 1965, he created Pam-Pak Distributors. He also increased his farming acreage during the same time frame.
In 1986 Mr. Baloian and his son Tim started Baloian Farms and together grew it into one of the larger pepper and vegetable production companies in the San Joaquin Valley.
“My dad had an enthusiasm for life and a respect for people that he instilled in us as a family and within our business,” said Baloian Farms President Tim Baloian in a press release. “Our business is an extension of his passion — the idea of doing something good and meaningful that helps others is what farming is about — we grow healthy food that helps people. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work side-by-side with a man rooted in faith that showed me through his actions, the importance of honesty, hard work and generosity.”
Join Western Growers
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.