In 1909 Andrew Duda immigrated to America from the Austro-Hungarian empire to pursue his dreams of religious freedom, owning land and farming. He produced his first cash crop of celery in central Florida in 1926. In the 1940s Andrew and his three sons expanded their acreage and in 1953, A. Duda & Sons, Inc. was formally incorporated with Andrew’s three sons, John, Andrew Jr. and Ferdinand, operating the business. In the 1960s the company expanded into south Florida adding to the vegetable acreage base and expanding into citrus. By 1979, the Dudas expanded into California and Arizona with year-round produce production including leafy greens.
Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc. was established in 2006 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Duda with production and shipping operations covering nearly 39,000 acres in the U.S. and 1,500 acres internationally. Celery remains the flagship item in Duda Farm Fresh Foods, Inc.
Sammy graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor of science degree in agricultural economics. He is a fourth generation family farmer and started his career in their south Texas vegetable operation in 1985 before moving to Yuma in the early 1990s and then to Salinas in 1996. Sammy’s current responsibilities include all facets of production and harvesting operations for the U.S. & International Operations.
He is currently serving as an advisory board member for the Center for Produce Safety. He is a past board member of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, a past chairman of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and past board member of the California Leafy Greens Research Advisory Board.
Sammy was elected to the board in 2011, and served as chairman in 2017.