Date: Nov 14, 2011

IRVINE, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2011)—Mike Jarrard of Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing Company took the reins as 2012 chairman of the board at Western Growers 86th Annual Meeting in San Diego Nov. 6 to 9. Jarrard grew up in Bakersfield, Calif., on his family’s wheat and alfalfa farm. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with degrees in agriculture and economics, and joined Dole Fresh Vegetables after college. Jarrard joined Mann Packing in 1994 and became its president in 2006. Mann Packing grows and ships broccoli, cauliflower, leaf and iceberg lettuce, broccolini, snap peas and fresh-cut vegetable blends. Jarrard joined the Western Growers board of directors in 2007.

Bruce Taylor of Salinas-based Taylor Farms and Vic Smith of Yuma, Ariz.-based Fresh Innovations LLC officially joined the WG executive committee as the newest members for 2012. Taylor will serve as vice chairman and Smith will serve as treasurer. They joined Steve Barnard of Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc., who will serve as senior vice chairman and Ryan Talley of Arroyo Grande, Calif.-based Talley Farms, who will serve as executive secretary. A.G. Kawamura of Orange County Produce will also join the board of directors for 2012.

About Western Growers:

Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation’s fresh produce. Western Growers is headquartered in Irvine, Calif

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