Date: Mar 16, 2010

IRVINE (March 16, 2010) - Western Growers’ Board of Directors has voted to endorse Arizona’s John McCain in his bid for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

“We are endorsing Senator McCain at this early stage of the election season because he has shown tremendous courage, determination and extraordinary leadership skills in support the policies and principles valued by Western Growers’ members in Arizona and California,” said Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif. “Throughout his career, Senator McCain has consistently promoted pragmatic fiscal policies, free markets and stood up as an advocate for common sense repairs to our broken immigration system.”

Robby Barkley, Western Growers Chairman of the Board and President and CEO of Barkley Ag Enterprises LLP in Yuma, Ariz., added, “'While our Board rarely entertains primary endorsements, they showed no hesitation in offering this endorsement for Senator McCain during this critical primary challenge. He understands and supports our industry, and he is the right man to represent Arizona and California’s specialty crop interests in the halls of our nation’s Capitol.”

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

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