Tom Nassif, Western Growers president and chief executive officer, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Agriculturalist of the Year Award for his extensive contributions to the California agricultural industry.
In selecting Nassif for the recognition, the California State Fair Ag Advisory Council considered his role in elevating the immigration reform debate to focus on the need for a reliable and legal workforce for agriculture, establishing a new specialty crop title in the farm bill, driving the creation of a new food-safety system resulting in the formation of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, and opening the Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology to accelerate solutions to the agriculture industry’s biggest challenges, among many other accomplishments.
“Looking at the list of past recipients of this award, I am humbled to be considered among these legendary and iconic names,” Nassif said in a press release. “Truly, I owe my success to the pioneers of California agriculture who have come before me, and to the thousands of hardworking and ingenious men and women who are currently leading our industry into a new era of abundance and prosperity.”
“Tom Nassif is revered by members of Western Growers and the broader agricultural industry,” Sammy Duda, senior vice president of national operations for Duda Farm Fresh Foods and chairman of Western Growers, said in the release. “We are incredibly fortunate to have a man of his vision and leadership during a time of such political and marketplace uncertainty for farmers in California and across the country.”
Nassif’s achievements and service to the industry will be recognized at the State Fair Gala on Thursday, June 22. Held at the California State Fair in Sacramento, the Gala raises funds for The Friends of the California State Fair Student Scholarship Program, which seeks to support well-rounded, high academic achievers in agricultural-based fields of study.