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Roundy’s honors produce suppliers

by press release | February 18, 2015

Roundy’s Inc. recently held a “Love Your Local Farmer” dinner and award ceremony, inviting Midwest farmers that supply Roundy’s stores with fresh, quality produce to be recognized. The event was held at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee, WI, with farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan in attendance. Speakers included Bob Mariano, Roundy’s chairman and chief executive officer; Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection;pic1Ben Brancel, Wisconsin Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection delivers keynote address at “Love Your Local Farmer” dinner and award ceremony. Steve Jarzombek, Roundy’s vice president of produce merchandising; and Roundy’s Produce Category Manager Steve Markovich.

Brancel, who hails from a sixth generation Wisconsin farm family, delivered the keynote address. His message stressed the importance of producing and delivering a quality product from field to table, and his comments resonated and energized the farming community present. Jarzombek spoke about produce planning for 2015 and the partnership role Roundy’s offers in helping the farmers present with their upcoming crop planning.

Fourteen different farmers were recognized by Roundy’s:

  • George Espantman of Apple Orchards for “50 Years of Dedication and Service to Roundy’s”
  • Jolanta Hardj of FarmedHere for “Most Innovative Urban Farm”
  • Will Allen of Growing Power Inc. for “Best Sustainable Farm Practices”
  • Ron Balsimo and Wisconsin Food Hub Members for “Two Successful Year of Service with Roundy’s”
  • Mike and Stephanie Borzynski of Borzynski Farms for “Most Valuable Player”
  • Bill Ingersoll of Ingersoll Farms for “Best Service Operator to the Warehouse”
  • Bill Henry of The Gourmet Grower for “Rookie of the Year”
  • Wayne and Michelle Sirles of Rendleman Orchards for “Most Generations in Family Farming”
  • Robert Fechter of Fechter Farms for “Best Specialty Herb Grower”
  • Rick Didier of Didier Farms for “Best Field to Store Service”
  • Rog and Dawn Geers of Riveridge Produce Marketing Inc. for “Providing Largest Varitiety of Apples”
  • Dick Okray of Okray Family Farms for “Potato Packer of the Year”
  • Keith Kersten of Bushel Boy for “Best Greenhouse Tomato Grower”
  • Habelman Bros. Co. for “Best Midwest Cranberry Grower”

More informaiton about Roundy’s partnership with Midwest farmers is available at