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April 4, 2023

VoV: Ian LeMay, President of the California Fresh Fruit Association, on how Agtech Bolsters Ag Labor

Ian LeMay, President of the California Fresh Fruit Association, joins Dennis Donohue and Candace Wilson on this episode of Voices of the Valley to discuss navigating current challenges in fresh produce agriculture to reach a bright and exciting future.

LeMay shares his thoughts about the two biggest challenges that fresh fruit farmers in California face: labor and water.

“Transition is the word of the day,” said LeMay. “In termsof issue areas…truly has been agriculture labor. Our roots run extremely deep in that area, in positive ways and negative. To this day, as our commodities still holistically depend on the human hand to pick, pack and ship our commodities, labor will lead every conversation in terms of an issue focus area for the California Fresh Fruit Association.”

When asked about the role that agtech will play in relation to labor on farms, LeMay said, “We’re not trying to replace ag labor with agtech. If anything, we’re trying to create more efficient, safer places of work where ultimately the individuals working in that sector can earn more and have more advanced allocation of their job.”

Listen to this episode of Voices of the Valley here.