July 17, 2023

Western Growers Mourns the Passing of Luther J. Khachigian

The Western Growers Family of Companies mourns the passing of former board member Luther J. Khachigian, long-time farmer and agricultural advocate, who passed away on June 20, 2023. He was 87 years old.

A life in agriculture started early for Luther; he was born on his family’s 60-acre grape and walnut farm in Visalia, Calif., later earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis in Pomology and Agriculture. He began his first nursery venture more than 60 years ago after leasing a one-acre strip of land from his father.

Luther was a fierce advocate of the food and agriculture industry, holding a number of positions that included nine years on the Western Growers Association Board of Directors; a term on the California Fruit Tree, Nut Tree, and Grapevine Improvement Advisory Board; eight years as Chairman of the Board for the California Grape Rootstock Commission; and member of the Advisory Board of the U.C. Agricultural Issues Center.

He was also a respected and accomplished businessman, which allowed him to extend financial support to politicians and a number of charities and organizations throughout his life. As a proud Armenian, Luther helped start a grape nursery in Armenia with the Armenian Technology Group. He also supported and contributed to the Armenian Eyecare Project and the underwriting of the John Ohannes Khachigian Regional Eye Center in Gyumri, Armenia, which provides quality eye care access in that remote region.

Luther is survived by his brother, Kenneth Khachigian and sister-in-law, Meredith, his son, Luther Khachigian II and daughter-in-law, Tracy, and his caring companion and fiancé, Claudette Mekalian. Western Growers extends our deepest condolences to Luther’s family, friends and colleagues.

Contributions in Khachigian’s memory can be made to: the Armenian Eye Care Project, 100 W. Foothill Blvd. Suite 203, San Dimas, CA, 91773.