Larry Cox of Lawrence Cox Ranches, Brawley, CA, was elected chairman of the board of Western Growers at its Annual Meeting in San Diego in November.
Cox, who served as senior vice chair this year, took the traditional path of rising through the officer slots to his current position. Serving as his senior vice chair for the 2015/16 year is Sammy Duda of Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc. Craig Reade of Bonipak Produce Company was elected to the vice chair role. Carol Chandler of Chandler Farms is treasurer while Garland Reiter of Reiter Affiliated Companies is the executive secretary.
The 90th Annual Meeting of Western Growers also featured a former chairman of the board receiving the prestigious Award of Honor from the association. Robert P. Gray, who is currently the president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and has had a long and impressive career in production agriculture, was so honored. The award was presented by longtime WG Board Member Stephen Patricio of Westside Produce who noted Gray’s outsized intellect and dedicated service to the industry. For many of his years, he was employed by Duda Farm Fresh Foods, serving as CEO of that company for a handful of years. He owns the record for longest service on the Western Growers Executive Committee and was the first non-company owner to be chairman of the association.
With Gray’s turn at the podium, he gave the audience a sample of the road he did not travel when he pursued a career in agriculture. His earlier goal was to be a college professor with literature being his field of study. During his speech he analyzed the four stanzas of Robert Frost’s famous “The Road Not Taken” poem. Gray noted that while he took the road less traveled as the poem describes, it was not done with aforethought of where it would lead, but it proved to be the right path and one he is very grateful to have traversed.