Aloha! When the Western Growers 91st Annual Meeting in Kaua‘i concluded last week, one thing remained certain: the collective commitment to protecting the future of Arizona, California and Colorado family farmers remains as strong as ever.

Attendees had the opportunity to gain further insight into the state of affairs in both the industry and nation through a series of educational workshops, networking opportunities and keynote addresses. Highlights of the action-packed event include:

  • Sammy Duda of Duda Farm Fresh Foods in Salinas, CA, was elected 2017 chairman of the board, replacing outgoing chairman Larry Cox of Lawrence Cox Ranches in Brawley, CA. Video.
  • Chef Adam Tabura demonstrated how to incorporate local flavors and fresh produce into delicious and nutritious dishes during the Top Chef Workshop. Video.
  • Jim Nicholson, former Republican National Committee chairman, delivered the keynote address during the PAC Lunch, sharing insight into the unconventional presidential campaign.
  • Sarah Brew of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Daniel Jarcho of Alston & Bird and William Marler of Marler Clark LLP addressed concerns and offered critical advice on how to navigate the potential risks of criminal and civil liability during the Foodborne Illness: Criminal & Civil Liability Workshop. Livestreamed recording.
  • Innovation Arena II hosted a “pitch session” where six agtech start-up companies competed for a complimentary one-year membership with Western Growers and an opportunity to work with the WG Center for Innovation & Technology in Salinas, CA; Agralogics and Trace Genomics took home the prizes. Video. | Livestreamed recording.
  • Larry Cox shared how his strength and achievements stemmed from his family and faith during his Chairman’s Speech at the Major Lunch. Livestreamed recording.
  • Rear Admiral Garry E. Hall, president and CEO of the Association of the United States Navy and keynote speaker of the Major Lunch, delivered a riveting speech on national security. Livestreamed recording.
  • Miles and Garland Reiter each gave heart-warming speeches while receiving the 2016 Award of Honor. Video. | Livestreamed recording.
  • Guests enjoyed a spectacular performance by celebrity-impressionist Jeff Tracta and some “friendly” competition during the Hawaiian Style Family Games and Golf Tournament. Photos.

If you weren’t able to attend the Annual Meeting this year, selected events were livestreamed and can now be found on the Western Growers Facebook. You can also see images from of all the workshops, activities and keynote addresses at the 91st Annual Meeting Photo Album on Facebook. Tag yourself…and your colleagues!