Concert at Corral

Dour-Ranno Harvesting-Crew Corral-ConcertGS FIANL2 1

Concert at Corral

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation has announced a special benefit “Concert at Corral” featuring Doug Ranno & The Harvesting Crew, February 20, 2015

SALINAS, CA (December 29, 2014)   Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Director, Susan Marscellas, announced the Grower Shipper Association Foundation will be holding a special event and benefit concert at Corral de Tierra Country Club Theater located at 81 Corral de Tierra Road in Salinas, featuring Salinas’s own Doug Ranno and his band The Harvesting Crew, February 20, 2015 to support Ag Education. Approximately 250 tickets will be made available to the public and those tickets are limited to a first-come, first-serve basis starting the week ofJanuary 5th for $85.00 each by going to ( for ticket purchase.

The benefit event is being called “Concert at Corral” - GUITARS, OLD CARS FOR SALAD BARS and will start at 6:00pm on February 20, 2015 with a special red carpet entry, photo wall, strolling dinner, wine tasting, silent auction and concert all included in the price of the ticket ($85.00).

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a nonprofit 501c3 organization dedicated to Ag Education, ensuring children have healthy eating options in schools and teaching communities and the world about the importance that agriculture means to all of us. With the strong agricultural history in Salinas, Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties it is expected that this could become an annual event in support of the Grower -Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF) for years to come. You can learn more about the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation by going to their website at  and by following them on Facebook.

Susan Marscellas, the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Director said, “We are all very excited about this fun filled evening and expect the event to sell out quickly.  250 people will enjoy a night of great music and great food in a wonderful intimate location. Doug and some of the members of his band have strong ties to the agriculture industry and they wanted to give back and make a difference.  February 20th will be a fun packed night and the benefit concert will help us educate the community about the produce industry and how we are bringing healthy food options and salad bars to kids in Monterey County schools.”

Doug Ranno and his band, The Harvesting Crew, recently released a new CD titled the Musical Harvester. The CD is now available on iTunes, Amazon and other fine digital stores. The Harvesting Crew is best known for an original mix of California country Nashville country with a taste of Delta Blues mixed in. The band features Ranno, a long time song writer, who has a strong history and ties to the fresh produce industry and a group of amazing musicians who have played with the likes of The Doobie Brothers, New Riders of The Purple Sage, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Larry Horsford, Great American Taxi and Lacy J Dalton just to name a few. You can find them on Facebook at The Doug Ranno Music Page and don’t forget to “like” the page by Dec. 31, 2014 for a chance to win a custom made guitar or follow them at

Doug Ranno has been involved in the agricultural industry for years as a business owner and was a member of the Grower Shipper Association. He is also well known for his company Musical Harvest and donating his unique custom handcrafted guitars to raise money for worthy charities. Don’t be surprised if you see a guitar or two shaped like some kind of fruit or vegetable at this special event.

In addition to supporting Grower-Shipper Association Foundation, the event will feature two unique, custom made Musical Harvest guitars donated by Ranno. The custom made guitars will be featured at the silent auction and the proceeds from those two guitars will benefit Samz School of Music and Guitars not Guns. They are two local Salinas and Monterey County 501c3 nonprofit organizations with missions that are affording kids the opportunity of music in their lives to help build a positive and strong foundation.

For additional information on the event, contacts the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation office at 831-422-9007 or for tickets go to

Fresh produce battles fast food for America’s stomachs

dennis taylor

(Photo: Dennis L. Taylor/The Californian)

Putting fresh fruits and vegetables in front of school children during lunch is a fight – not with the kids, rather with the makers of the other stuff on their plates.

"We're fighting pizzas and French fries – those guys don't want to get tossed off a lucrative place at the table," said Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, on Wednesday during the Greater Vision 2014: The Business of Healthy Eating forum at California State University, Monterey Bay.

The forum looked at the challenges and opportunities of public health joining forces with agriculture. One of the challenges is getting Congress to put healthier choices on the plates of school children. But with the lobbying power of fast food, as well as the canned and frozen food industries, getting fresh fruits and vegetables on kids plates is an uphill battle, a number of the experts at the forum said.

Both Farr and Lorelei DiSogra, vice president for nutrition and health at United Fresh Produce Association, said there are ongoing attempts to strip out portions of legislation such as the National School Lunch Program or the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program launched in 2002

"I'm glad we did it in (2002) because today Congress is too dysfunctional," DiSogra said.

DiSogra noted that many children in some parts of the country she visits have never tasted a fresh pear, for example. To them, pears are something that comes in a can covered in syrup, she said. But things are getting better. In California, there are 869 schools with salad bars – 42 of them in Monterey County. Most of the salad bars are the result of donations by agribusiness and agricultural foundations in the Salinas Valley.

Dr. Edward Moreno, the Monterey County Health Officer and director of public health, said that in addition to eating more fresh fruits and veg, exercise has to be added to the equation.
"As long as our caloric intake remains high, and we are burning less calories than we are taking in, obesity will persist," Moreno said. "We need to change the fast food culture. If not, we will be facing premature death."

One way to get the message out about healthy eating is through social media, which most – if not all – major agribusinesses in the Salinas Valley are using to market the health, flavor and versatility of fruits and vegetables, said Gina Nucci, director of Healthy Culinary Innovation for Mann Packing Co.

"There's an increase in the use of social media," Nucci said. "We can't compete with the marketing budgets of Coke of McDonald's."

Nucci provided some data on what U.S. schools spend on various types of foods annually :
• Bananas: $41,543,000
• Salads: $114,805,442
• Pizza: $458,807,268

Any questions on why we are facing an obesity epidemic in this country?

"We can pay for healthy foods now or we can pay for healthcare down the road," Nucci said.

We, as a society, are paying for our food choices in many other ways as well. For example, Nucci and Farr noted that 75 percent of young men and women trying to join the military are now turned down because they are too fat.

"Fast food has taken over America and the way we process our food," Farr told the CSUMB students in the audience. "How do we change American culture? The opportunity is there for you."

Dennis L. Taylor covers agriculture and health for Follow him on Twitter

Meet & Greet Dr. Lorelei DiSogra

loreleiTuesday, October 21, 2014
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Grower-Shipper Association
512 Pajaro, Salinas, CA 93901

Join the members of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation at a reception for Lorelei DiSogra, Ed.D. R.D., Vice President for Nutrition and Health of the United Fresh Produce Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Dr. DiSogra will share her thoughts on building partnerships to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in the schools and the upcoming reauthorization of the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, in advance of her presentation at "A Greater Vision," on October 22, 2014 at CSUMB.

Sponsored by:

pro act logo

A Greater Vision - October 22, 2014


Grower-Shipper Association Foundation, and supported by CSU Monterey Bay and the Central Coast Ag Task Force.


A Greater Vision - The Business of Healthy Eating
A Greater Vision is an annual education event providing a series of public forum featuring speakers and panel discussions from community members, academic researchers, elected officials, public agencies, and agricultural representatives.


Wed. October 22, 2014 – 2:00pm – 4:30pm


California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) – University Center Ballroom


Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Announces AgKnowledge Class VIII

The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation has accepted 23 fellows to the annual AgKnowledge leadership program based in Salinas, Calif.

They'll participate in a nine-month program on the heritage of Monterey County, Calif., agriculture and its ties with local government and the community.

Courses focus on issues including food safety, labor and immigration, technology, marketing, conservation and water. From March to November, the fellows will spend 10 Fridays attending forums; visiting farms and processing facilities; and meeting industry leaders, according to a news release.

It's sponsored by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California and the Monterey County agricultural commissioner's office. This is the eighth class.


AgKnowledge Now Accepting Applications for Class VIII

Salinas, CA (February 4, 2014) – The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is accepting applications for the 2014 AgKnowledge program now through February 28, 2014. Applications are available at the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation website:

For questions, please contact Darlene Din at 831-682-0734 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Salinas Californian Writer Dennis L. Taylor Recounts AgKnowledge Experience

Dennis L. Taylor: Salinas Valley humbles writer

Call it one of those moments in life when your ignorance shines bright. When I began to forge an agriculture-water beat at The Californian earlier this year, I thought to myself, "How hard could it be?" After all, I spent a large part of my youth on a cattle ranch east of Redding. I knew ranching, so farming couldn't be much different, right?That's the moment I was blinded by the light. Two glaring problems with my assumption became obvious —the scale and sophistication of the Salinas Valley. Of course, I had help fully understanding the depth of what I didn't know. The help even has a name: AgKnowledge.

The program is modeled similar to leadership classes. Once a month our class focuses on one or two specific aspects of farming and ranching in the valley. Two people I tend to work closely with —Maia Carroll, Monterey County communications coordinator; and Robert Johnson, assistant general manager of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency, suggested I go through the program.In hindsight I'm sure I asked a question or made a comment that clued them in that Ranch Boy could use a little help grasping a few key concepts about agriculture in the Salinas Valley.


AgKnowledge Presented Education Award at the 9th Annual Valley of the World Awards

The 2013 Education Award was presented to Neil Ledford and Grower Shipper Association Foundation's AgKnowledge Program. In the spirit of Steinbeck's writings, the Education Award recognizes an individual who through their teachings and efforts inspired or nourished a lifelong love of learning.

The 9th Annual Valley of the World Awards was held at the Corral de Tierra Country Club on April 25, 2013.

The National Steinbeck Center established this event to recognize key pioneers of the Salinas Valley Agricultural Industry. The event helps to support the National Steinbeck Center's Rabobank Agriculture Museum and proceeds from the event funds exhibitions and public programs held at the National Steinbeck Center throughout the year.


Grower-Shipper Association Foundation Announces AgKnowledge Class VII

Salinas, CA (March 27, 2013) The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation has announced the fellows accepted to the 2013 AgKnowledge Program (Class VII). These 23 community members will participate in an eight-month executive leadership program focused on educating about the heritage, diversity, stewardship, and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government, and the community.


Copyright © Grower Shipper Association Foundation
512 Pajaro Street • Salinas • CA 93901 • (831) 422-9007