Date: Nov 17, 2010

Calif. – November 17, 2010) - Tom Deardorff, president of Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, Calif., will assume his role as the new chairman of the board of Western Growers today, at the conclusion of the Western Growers 85th Annual Convention. Mr. Deardorff takes over from Robby Barkley, president of Barkley Ag Enterprises, LLP, of Yuma, Ariz.

Mr. Deardorff was elected to that post by the board of directors during its board meeting on Monday morning November 15, 2010 at the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui, Hawaii. He heads an executive committee that includes: Senior Vice Chairman, Michael Jarrard of Mann Packing Company, Salinas, Calif.; Vice Chairman Stephen J. Barnard of Mission Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif.; Treasurer, John S. Manfre of Frank Capurro and Son, Moss Landing, Calif.; Executive Secretary, Ryan Talley of Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande, Calif.; Immediate Past Chairman Robby Barkley and former WG Chairman Kevin Andrew, Bakersfield, Calif.

Mr. Deardorff continues a family tradition of service started by his great-grandfather. He is the fourth generation Deardorff to serve on the Western Growers board. A family member has served continuously for the past 50 years. Deardorff Family Farms began as a packer-shipper in Los Angeles and then moved to Oxnard, as urbanization squeezed the burgeoning business out of Los Angeles County in the early 1960s. Today, the company is a grower, packer and shipper of both conventional and organic celery, tomatoes, strawberries and mixed lettuce.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree from Southwestern Law School. Mr. Deardorff is past chairman of the Ventura Agricultural Association Board, and is a member of the California State Board of Agriculture. He has served on the Western Growers board of directors since 2001. He resides in Oxnard, California with his wife and children.

Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose members grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh vegetables and about 75 percent of the fresh fruits and tree nuts in Arizona and California, about one-half of the nation’s supply of fresh produce.

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