The Grower Achievement Award Requires Well Rounded Nominee

Rosemary Gordon

Believe it or not, much of the winter is behind us and many in the North are getting ready for the coming growing season. As March not only brings warmer temperatures, it also marks the time when AVG begins the process of collecting nominations for the annual Grower Achievement Award.

This month, we are kicking off the call for entries. Now in its 11th year, this award is presented to a grower operation who is in constant pursuit of excellence in marketing, food safety, technology — I think you get the picture. (To find out more about the award and how to submit a nomination online, see “Success Stories” on page 32.)

 

CLICK HERE to submit a nomination. 


Not The Same Playing Field

Past award recipients hail from all over the country — from Florida to California — and most have earned superior marks in each of those areas mentioned above. The one area that has undergone significant change over the years, however, is food safety. From complying with third-party audits to understanding what will be required of growers when the new food safety law is implemented, the playing field has changed, and it has changed dramatically.  

It’s quite obvious that growers’ collective livelihood depends on delivering the safest produce possible to consumers. Most growers follow good agricultural practices and many have a specific food safety plan in place in order to comply with customer audits. Now with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — which was signed into law last year and is the most sweeping food safety reform in history — growers will have to answer to the law.

Waiting For Rules

Since FSMA became law, FDA has been charged with developing the new food safety rules that vegetable growers will need to heed. What is being perceived as a setback, however, is FDA is now postponing the release of rules that will directly impact producers of fresh produce.

Frank Giles, editor of sister magazine Florida Grower, caught up with David Gombas, senior vice president for food safety and technology for United Fresh Produce Association (see “New Rules Unfold” on page 50) to talk about what is to come with the new regulations. In a nutshell, Gombas said there was some disappointment that the rules are not ready to go, but he added that he is glad FDA is taking the time to “get it right.”

Accountability And Responsibility

In spite of the delay, growers large and small know that they are accountable for food produced on their farms. As mentioned earlier, many growers already have food safety programs, and many go above and beyond what is required of them.

It is not going out on a limb to say that these cutting-edge growers who are already taking food safety to the next level will be well-prepared for what is to come from FDA. Clearly, these operations are leading by example.
So what does this have to do with the Grower Achievement Award? Well, the short answer is “everything.” These growers are pursuing excellence. They are the ones looking to the future, trying to determine what will be necessary down the line to produce the safest vegetables to feed a growing nation.

That is quite a job. As you will see, whoever is named the recipient of the 2012 Grower Achievement Award will definitely be up to the task.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories

Varieties & RootstocksPlaying The Citrus Rootstock Market Has Risks And Rewards
October 24, 2014
Experimental material forcing producers to roll the dice. Read More
GrapesNorthern Grapes Project Receives $2.6 Million USDA Grant
October 24, 2014
Funds will help complete final two years of multistate effort. Read More
VegetablesEnza Zaden Field Day Highlights 25 Vegetable Varieties [Slideshow]
October 24, 2014
Seed breeder Enza Zaden hosted its 2014 variety showcase September 25th at the company’s research station in San Juan Bautista, California, with 250 Read More
Disease ControlWashington Concord Grape Growers Wrestle With Blackleaf
October 23, 2014
Physiological disorder manifested due to unusually hot and sunny summer. Read More
More Vegetables7 Green Bean Varieties Geared For Florida Growers
October 23, 2014
Leading vegetable seed companies highlight several high-performance selections for producers in the Sunshine State. Read More
MarketingTomato Survey Tracks Consumer Trends
October 23, 2014
Results indicate how labeling matters in purchasing decisions. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Growers Get Box Tax Relief
October 23, 2014
Citrus Commission votes to put dollars back in producers’ hands to spur reinvestment. Read More
Farm ManagementBill Gates Uploading Lots Of Florida Farmland
October 22, 2014
Recent acquisition for the Microsoft icon involves more than 4,500 acres for nearly $28 million. Read More
GenNext GrowersRegister Now For The GenNext Growers Webcast
October 22, 2014
In the first installment of the GenNext Webcast Series, you will learn how to engage with lawmakers and ag associations to help shape a better future for your business and for agriculture. Read More
FruitsAnnual Santa Maria Strawberry Meeting Approaching
October 22, 2014
The meeting will focus on IPM practices, weed management, updates on fumigation, and more. Read More

The Latest

Varieties & RootstocksPlaying The Citrus Rootstock Market Has Risks And Rewar…
October 24, 2014
Experimental material forcing producers to roll the dice. Read More
GrapesNorthern Grapes Project Receives $2.6 Million USDA Gran…
October 24, 2014
Funds will help complete final two years of multistate effort. Read More
VegetablesEnza Zaden Field Day Highlights 25 Vegetable Varieties …
October 24, 2014
Seed breeder Enza Zaden hosted its 2014 variety showcase September 25th at the company’s research station in San Juan Bautista, California, with 250 Read More
Disease ControlWashington Concord Grape Growers Wrestle With Blackleaf
October 23, 2014
Physiological disorder manifested due to unusually hot and sunny summer. Read More
More Vegetables7 Green Bean Varieties Geared For Florida Growers
October 23, 2014
Leading vegetable seed companies highlight several high-performance selections for producers in the Sunshine State. Read More
MarketingTomato Survey Tracks Consumer Trends
October 23, 2014
Results indicate how labeling matters in purchasing decisions. Read More
CitrusFlorida Citrus Growers Get Box Tax Relief
October 23, 2014
Citrus Commission votes to put dollars back in producers’ hands to spur reinvestment. Read More
Farm ManagementBill Gates Uploading Lots Of Florida Farmland
October 22, 2014
Recent acquisition for the Microsoft icon involves more than 4,500 acres for nearly $28 million. Read More
GenNext GrowersRegister Now For The GenNext Growers Webcast
October 22, 2014
In the first installment of the GenNext Webcast Series, you will learn how to engage with lawmakers and ag associations to help shape a better future for your business and for agriculture. Read More
FruitsAnnual Santa Maria Strawberry Meeting Approaching
October 22, 2014
The meeting will focus on IPM practices, weed management, updates on fumigation, and more. Read More
Apples & PearsUSApple’s AppletizeMe Personality Quiz Help Consumers…
October 22, 2014
Award-winning national apple month campaign returns with more featured varieties and informative videos. Read More
Farm ManagementUSDA Awards $18 Million To Stimulate Research And Devel…
October 22, 2014
The grants will provide resources to help small operations create breakthroughs, says USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. Read More
CitrusEPA Launches Program To Reduce Pesticide Drift
October 22, 2014
The voluntary star-rating program aims to protect people, wildlife and the environment. Read More
CitrusMcCrometer Introduces New Ag Management Mobile App
October 22, 2014
The app displays data on weather, ET, soil moisture, water flow, and more. Read More
Apples & PearsNew York Apple Growers Partner With Grocer To Introduce…
October 22, 2014
First apples of this new variety to hit Wegmans stores as part of a marketing effort. Read More
CitrusAgriculture, Interior Departments Partner To Measure Co…
October 22, 2014
Goal is to provide science-based information for watershed wellness. Read More
Stone FruitIntroducing A Gem Of A Peach For Central Florida
October 22, 2014
The newest variety to come from the UF Stone Fruit Breeding Program is another “gem,” UFGem! This peach variety is Read More
CitrusIt’s Time For Young Farming Leaders To Engage [Op…
October 21, 2014
Florida Grower editor Frank Giles says there are capable and talented youths in the ag field ready to step up and take the reins. Read More