Skip to main content


AgKnowledge is a 9 month executive course that gives local community leaders a unique, hands-on experience to see the inner working of the agriculture industry. Now entering it’s 15th year!

Ag Against Hunger

A community-based program that organizes and partners with local growers and shippers to bring volunteers out to Glean the fields and deliver the produce to local Food Banks. We are proud to celebrate the Ag Woman of the Year Award annually and the Produce Mascot Race at the Rodeo.

Ag Jobs: Bringing a Greater Vision

The 16th Annual Greater Vision 2022 featured Agribusiness Supply Chain Management with the theme: Push, Pull, Panic?: Perishable Supply Chain Management. Proud to partner with CSUMB College of Business and College of Science. 

More Produce in Schools

We provided 90 salad bars and worked with local food service directors to help find effective solutions to getting more fresh produce in our schools.

Grower Shipper Association Foundation

The people who have dedicated their lives to providing healthy and nutritious food to the world are a unique bunch. In an industry of ever-changing technology and sophistication, their word is still their bond. They are generous, and they sincerely care about the quality of their products and services.

Through this commitment to excellence and anchored in heartfelt charity and concern for others, Grower Shipper Association Foundation was formed in 2003.

Our Mission

Raising community awareness of the positive impact agriculture makes in our lives.

What we do: Educate, Inspire, Impact

The produce grown in our community touches the lives of virtually everyone living here as well as millions of people across the nation and throughout the world. The Grower Shipper Association Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides education and information on the agriculture industry as well as offering innovative programs to our community.

We believe better decisions and policies will come from a public and community leadership that is better informed as to issues faced by the ag industry combined with an understanding as to how the industry really works.

We share a deep commitment to our communities and want to give back to all who have been so supportive of our industry. We offer leadership programs, ag jobs forums, gleaning with volunteers and community events.

What we’ve accomplished

Education is of primary importance to our mission; since agriculture is a complex and diverse industry, we realize that it must be deeply understood rather than casually presented. We are proud of what we have … and know that we can achieve and will continue to accomplish even more in the future.

  • Conducted Fourteen AgKnowledge Classes with 22 Fellows attending a comprehensive 9 month course [308 students to date]
  • Held Fifteen Ag Jobs – Greater Vision Forums attended by over 350 community leaders, students and actively involved residents each year
  • Placed 90 salad bars, in partnership with United Fresh Start Foundation, in local schools throughout Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties and conducted training to food service personnel on the care and use of the salad bars.
  • Coordinated over 100,000 USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes to local Ag workers.
  • Held “gleaning” events with volunteers
  • Host the Ag Woman of the Year Event

Ag Against Hunger becomes a core program of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation

Group to focus on gleaning, education and food security

SALINAS, Calif – April 23, 2019 – The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and educating the social and economic value agriculture brings to the community, is pleased to announce the adoption of Ag Against Hunger as their newest educational program.

Grower-Shipper Association Foundation’s decision to adopt Ag Against Hunger is part of the nonprofit’s strategy to educate and inform Central Coast communities about the positive impact agriculture makes to all our lives. Alongside salad bar initiative More Produce in Schools, executive training program AgKnowledge and their Greater Vision series (in partnership with California State University, Monterey Bay), Ag Against Hunger will complement the Foundation’s overall effectiveness by increasing gleaning opportunities, educational and health-focused programming.

Lorri Koster, former chairman and CEO of Mann Packing Company, is one of the early leaders of Ag Against Hunger and served on a task force to see how the non-profit may evolve to avoid a duplication of services with the food bank and enhance gleaning and outreach programs. Koster is also board chair of the GSA Foundation. She comments, “Now that the Food Bank for Monterey County’s new, expanded facility is open, transitioning Ag Against Hunger to strictly a gleaning and advocacy organization is a real win-win. This new model will avoid unnecessary duplication in the food distribution system. The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is ideally suited to add Ag Against Hunger as one of our programs with a focus on expanding gleaning and outreach opportunities. The Ag community has always been committed to feeding the hungry. Now, between the food bank distribution system and Ag Against Hunger’s expanded gleans, hungry people in our communities will get even more fresh produce on their tables.”

For the past 25 years, Ag Against Hunger has focused on promoting the accessibility of fresh produce to those in need in local communities, donating some 11 million pounds of fresh produce annually. This effort will be continued by the Food Bank for Monterey County who will now be handling the distribution of fresh produce donations, allowing locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to serve one in five residents in Monterey County that struggle with hunger insecurity.

“We are excited to work with Ag Against Hunger and the team at the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation to strategically leverage the strengths of our organizations to help alleviate hunger in Monterey County,” said Melissa Kendrick, Executive Director of the Food Bank for Monterey County. “34 percent of County residents are food insecure. When such a large swath of the community is hungry, it has a detrimental effect on the economy, schools, workplaces, healthcare systems, and neighborhoods. If we want our county to flourish, we must first nourish our friends and neighbors in need. By supplying produce with the help of our generous Ag partners, we are making a meaningful impact on the lives of our most vulnerable residents.”

Ag Against Hunger, in conjunction with GSAF, will continue to host their popular Ag Women of the Year luncheon as well as the entertaining Ag industry mascot race at the California Rodeo. Several Ag Against Hunger Board members will continue to serve on the Ag Against Hunger committee within the Foundation.

“We are pleased to announce that Ag Against Hunger is now a program of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation,” said Jason Smith, chairman, Grower-Shipper Association. “Together, we can further serve the community in a new way to fight hunger and improve our focus on education and health as we work with our agricultural industry partners.”


The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is raising community awareness of the positive impact agriculture makes in our lives.

Lisa Dobbins, Executive Director, Grower-Shipper Association Foundation