Ocean Mist Farms’ Albert Pieri Dies

Ocean Mist Farms‘ Albert Pieri, 90, has died. He was part of the second generation of owners, following in his father’s footsteps.

Pieri, who worked with Ocean Mist for almost 50 years, was a pioneer in the early days of California Artichoke and Vegetable Growers, which was renamed Ocean Mist Farms in 1995. He was honored with the UnitedAg Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for his service to the industry, and for the Pieri family’s leadership in agriculture.

Known fondly as “Big Al” for both his physical stature and engaging personality, the Ocean Mist Farms family and Castroville community mourn this loss.

“Our most heartfelt condolences go out to Albert’s children, Renee, Glen, Dorian, and Diane, along with his sister Norma Pieri-Reasons, brother-in-law Don Reasons, and companion Marlene McMillan,” says Joe Pezzini, Ocean Mist Farms’ CEO. “Al’s contributions to our organization, the agricultural industry, and his community will be remembered and appreciated by all for many years to come.”

A graveside memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. on May 6, 2017, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Woodland, CA. In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests a donation to the Ocean Mist Farms Academic Scholarship Program.

About Albert Pieri

As a youngster, Pieri first worked for his dad at California Artichoke & Vegetable (which has the nickname, Cal Choke, that continues to today) after school and summers, harvesting crops, and making wooden packing crates. After high school he joined the navy. He came back from overseas duty and went back to work for Cal Choke loading and icing railroad cars, packing broccoli, driving trucks, and pretty much learning the business from the ground up.

In 1954 Pieri was asked to take the bookkeeping position in the company, but soon found himself answering sales calls, subbing for the sales manager, and becoming well known by buyers, and eventually drifting into full time sales. In 1964 he became the company’s sales manager, making friends across the nation and facing the many challenges growing and distributing produce offers. Having added cauliflower, cardone, and sweet fennel to its commodities, Pieri and Cal Choke’s popularity took off.

By 1981 Cal Choke had added romaine from Boutonnet Farms, and then butter, red, and green leaf lettuce — bringing production and handling needs to an all-time high.

But Pieri was always supportive of innovation, and expanded its operations with state-of-the-art packing machinery for all of the company’s produce. Doing so dovetailed with his two highest priorities: commitment to customers, and commitment to quality. The innivations guaranteed a strong future for his California produce — especially his “first love,” artichokes.

Addition of hydro and vacuum coolers, forced-air storage and handling rooms and ice injection chambers, along with computers and controllers, were some of the first of their kind used in agriculture in America and the world.

 

Leave a Reply

Vegetables Stories
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This Week
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn ‘Anthem XR’ from Rispens Seeds
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
farm hacks collage
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your Farm Hacks
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Organic Vegetable Production
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions Are When Everyone Wins
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg Mass Found
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Rain drops on leaf
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Winning at Water Quality
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
cut watermelon
Cucurbits
July 13, 2017
Scientists Keying in on Sweeter and Stronger Watermelon Varieties
New study shows grafting can give growers an upper hand on soilborne disease threats. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opinion]
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
2015 FFVA Annual Convention crowd
Citrus
July 13, 2017
Trade Talk to Top Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association Convention Agenda
Trade issues are top of mind these days for specialty crop producers. Efforts have been underway since early this year Read More
Beet-armyworms-on-a-tomato-plant
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Tomato Pests Can Be Induced to Cannibalism, New Study Shows
The University of Wisconsin's John Orrock says when beet armyworms are exposed to concentrations of methyl jasmonate, they will abandon eating tomatoes — and start eating one another. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Organic Production List
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More
Potatoes
July 12, 2017
We Need to Fight for Fruit and Vegetable Growers in the Next Farm Bill
In the last 10 years, an alliance has used its combined voice to create programs like the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the Specialty Crop Block Grant program, the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program, and others. Read More
More Vegetables
July 12, 2017
8 Carrot Varieties You Should Know About
Consider adding one of these carrot varieties to your crop mix during the next growing cycle. Read More
darkwinged fungus gnat larvae
Fruits
July 12, 2017
How to Deal with Annoying Fungus Gnats on the Farm
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this insect pest. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
July 22, 2017
Representative from Washington Proposes …
Move broadens use of H-2A to all of agriculture to include those with multiple crops and harvests. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2017
Atlantic Hurricane Forecast Taken Up a N…
Current conditions in the tropics warrant marked revision in potential storm season scenarios. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Pl…
Federal grant to aid exploration of food security solutions for the future. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This …
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn &#…
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your …
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Or…
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions A…
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg …
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Win…
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opin…
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
Trade Talk to Top Florida Fruit & Ve…
Trade issues are top of mind these days for specialty crop producers. Efforts have been underway since early this year Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Tomato Pests Can Be Induced to Cannibali…
The University of Wisconsin's John Orrock says when beet armyworms are exposed to concentrations of methyl jasmonate, they will abandon eating tomatoes — and start eating one another. Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
USDA Pulls 8 Products from Approved Orga…
After a few months of speculation, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has published its Sunset 2017 final rule on approved products for organic production and handling. Read More
Potatoes
July 12, 2017
We Need to Fight for Fruit and Vegetable…
In the last 10 years, an alliance has used its combined voice to create programs like the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the Specialty Crop Block Grant program, the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program, and others. Read More
More Vegetables
July 12, 2017
8 Carrot Varieties You Should Know About
Consider adding one of these carrot varieties to your crop mix during the next growing cycle. Read More
Fruits
July 12, 2017
How to Deal with Annoying Fungus Gnats o…
Learn how to identify, the survival and spread, as well as management methods for this insect pest. Read More
Business Planning
July 11, 2017
Young Florida Farmers Ready to Take the …
As growers age, the next generation is stepping up and stepping into leadership roles on the farm. Read More