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Fresh produce battles fast food for America’s stomachs

(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.

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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


The series addresses agricultural issues important to agriculture and the larger community, and is designed for the general public. Central Coast agriculture grows fruits and vegetables recommended for a healthy diet. Currently the agriculture industry and public health are both working together to protect the environment and prevent diseases like diabetes. A public-private partnership, uneasy at times, is emerging to address this challenge.

In this series, we will examine how the system of production agriculture and the promotion of public health can work together to provide value added produce at an affordable price, while protecting farm workers and the environment. In three annual sessions, experts will examine this challenge to and how it can be addressed through public policy, marketing programs designed to promote the public good, and ne production technologies.
There is no charge to attend.

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Meet & Greet Dr. Lorelei DiSogra

Tuesday, 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.

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 Class VIII fellows include:

  • Joyce Aldrich, Executive Director, Workforce Investment Board, County of Monterey
  • Jesse Avila, Deputy County Counsel, County of Monterey
  • Katharine Ball, Digital Editor, Salinas Californian
  • Priscilla Barba, Board Aide, Supervisor Simon Salinas, County of Monterey
  • Janet Barnes, Board of Education, Trustee, District 4
  • Pete Delgado, President/CEO, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System
  • Mark Dias, Supervising Environmental Health Specialist, County of Monterey
  • Veronica Diaz, Political Coordinator, Teamsters Joint Council 7
  • Irma Gomez, Assistant Director of Customer Service, Markon Cooperative
  • Linda Gonzalez, District Director, Office of Assembly Member Luis A. Alejo
  • Grey Hayes, Director Coastal Training Program, Elkhorn Slough Foundation
  • Shimat Joseph, IPM Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension
  • Shyam Kamath, Dean, School of Business, California State University, Monterey Bay
  • Philip Molnar, Reporter, Monterey Herald
  • Edward Moreno, Heath Officer, Health Department, County of Monterey
  • Martina Nino, Manager, Hayashi & Wayland
  • Ignacio Ornelas, Special Assistant, Stanford University
  • Susan Pheasant, Director, Ag, Business & Technology Institute, Hartnell College
  • Cammie Ramsey, Marketing Assistant, Mann Packing Company
  • Sierra Ryan, Researcher & Program Coordinator, Central Coast Wetlands Group
  • Karen Stahlman, Chief Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, County of Monterey
  • Brian Turlington, New Executive Director, Monterey County Business Council
  • Steve Wotherspoon, Senior Vice President Relationship Manager, Pinnacle Bank

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

Community members are encouraged to apply to the nine-month AgKnowledge executive leadership program, which is focused on educating participants about the heritage, diversity, stewardship, and complexity of Monterey County agriculture and the interdependencies of agriculture, local government, and the community.

AgKnowledge courses focus on issues affecting and influenced by the local agricultural industry, including food safety and security, labor and immigration, technology, marketing, conservation, urban/agriculture interfacing, air, water and much more. More than twenty fellows spend one Friday per month over the course of the program attending forums and visiting farms, processing facilities and meeting leaders and innovators in the industry. One of the program’s most popular facets is “Day with a Farmer” – a day spent with a local grower becoming immersed in agriculture from a boots on the ground perspective.

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.

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