June 2016

Within about a month of each other, three prominent members of the produce industry in the western half of the United States died.  Each had served agriculture well and was a leader in the industry in every sense of that word.


George Tanimura (1915-2016)


On April 15, George Tanimura, the founding co-chairman of the board of Tanimura & Antle, died at the age of 100.

Tim Linden

Where are the new dams?

That question has been asked, often quite loudly, by many Californians in the months since voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, the 2014 water bond that authorized $7.545 billion in funding for various projects and needs, and specifically allocated $2.7 billion for storage projects.

Some have questioned whether the Brown Administration is holding things up by creating a long regulatory process that will guide the California Water Commission’s decisions on where and how the $2.7 billion will be spent.

By David Duvall

The number of product recalls—especially in the food industry—has increased significantly in just these past few years. The need for recall and contamination coverage has never been greater.

(Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been paraphrased for clarity and brevity.)


You represent a large portion of San Bernardino County. Is that where you grew up?

I am from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is where I spent my formative years. I grew up on my grandfather and grandmother’s farm where they grew tomatoes and a lot of other row crops. They weren’t commercial farmers but they grew enough for themselves and they gave a lot of it away to neighbors.

Tim Linden

July 1, 2016, is the last day California employers may elect to avail themselves of the safe harbor provided under AB 1513. Enacted January 1, 2016, AB 1513 provides most employers an affirmative defense from class action lawsuits for having failed to pay piece-rate workers separately for “other non-productive time” or mandated rest and recovery periods. But that protection is only available to eligible employers who undertake certain steps.

Joe Bernardi

Bernardi & Associates

Turlock, CA

Member Since 1971

GETTING STARTED: When Joe Bernardi was a senior in college at San Diego State University in the late 1980s, his father asked him what he was going to do for a living.  “I told him I was going to come work for him.”  At the time, Al Bernardi was a partner at Ledlow, Cole & Bernardi, a tomato and vegetable broker headquartered in Nogales, Ariz. “My father told me he didn’t have a job for me and instead I needed to go out find a company to work for.”

Tim Linden

It’s no secret. In an era of diminishing resources, agriculture is being asked to do more with less. However, despite the prodigious efforts of many of our members—as well as the broader industry—to innovate and conserve, we still face attacks from agenda-driven activists and pressures from misguided policymakers. These negative sentiments can spill over into the media, which, in turn, influences an impressionable public and indirectly affects our ability to farm.

No one disputes that the United States’ immigration system is broken. Ideas for reform—ranging from ideological to bipartisan—have been endlessly debated in Congress for over a decade now. In a glimmer of hope, the Senate did pass a bipartisan compromise bill in 2013, but the House failed to act.

Maybe the November elections will bring enough new faces and new ideas that immigration reform can re-emerge in 2017. I certainly hope so, but I keep thinking that another election won’t be enough to break this logjam, because previous so-called historic elections didn’t bring us change.

Tom Nassif

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