Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of American Vegetable Grower’s 2016 Grower Achievement Award

 

Bob Bender (center) accepts American Vegetable Grower's 2016 Grower Achievement Award from Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the award's sponsor, and American Vegetable Grower editor Rosemary Gordon
Bob Bender (center) of Tasteful Selections in Arvin, CA, accepts American Vegetable Grower’s 2016 Grower Achievement Award from Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the award’s sponsor, and American Vegetable Grower editor Rosemary Gordon.

Tasteful Selections in Arvin, CA, has been named the 2016 Grower Achievement AwardSM recipient by American Vegetable Grower® magazine. The award was presented at United Fresh’s Washington Conference on Sept. 13.

The American Vegetable Grower Grower Achievement Award program, sponsored by AgroLiquid, recognizes vegetable growers who strive for excellence in all aspects of production including the use of innovative production practices, implementing the latest technology, finding new markets for products, and demonstrating leadership in the industry.

A producer of specialty potatoes, Tasteful Selections is a vertically integrated operation noted for its ingenuity in finding new markets, creating an extensive variety development program, and constructing a $30 million, 200,000-square-foot state-of-the-art processing facility – all while maintaining a sustainable enterprise.

Tasteful Selections grows potatoes that are sold in 15,000 stores in all 50 states, representing 35% of the specialty potato market. The operation also produces carrots, watermelon, and garlic on a total of 9,000 acres.  

“It is an honor to present Tasteful Selections with the 2016 Grower Achievement Award. With a focus on sustainability from the field to the processing facility, this operation strives to increase efficiencies from variety development to planting, harvesting, and packing,” said Rosemary Gordon, editor of American Vegetable Grower magazine.

Bob Bender, President and General Manager of Tasteful Selections, is an experienced grower who began producing potatoes on a custom basis for South Dakota-based CSS Farms in the early 1990s. Fast forward to today, and Tasteful Selections is growing potatoes from Washington and California to Nevada and Arizona to ensure year-round production.

Formed in 2010, Tasteful Selections is comprised of three owners: CSS Farms and two Wisconsin-based operations, Plover River Farms and the Wysocki Family of Companies’ marketing arm, RPE. Tasteful Selections works with RPE on all aspects of marketing its potato products.

Since the farm produced its first bag of potatoes in August of 2010, it has experienced annual double-digit growth, Bender said. “For us, it has been a real adventure and it is an honor to be recognized in the industry for what we have accomplished.”

Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the sponsor of American Vegetable Grower's annual Grower Achievement Award helped present the 2016 award to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections in Arvin, CA.
Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the sponsor of American Vegetable Grower’s annual Grower Achievement Award, helped present the 2016 award to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections in Arvin, CA.

The operation also has worked to reduce labor. Two years ago, 1,500 acres of flood-irrigated land was converted to linear sprinkler systems. As a result, the number of people required to operate the systems was reduced from 10 to two or three. Tasteful Selections is currently in the process of converting an additional 800 acres of flood-irrigated land to linear irrigation systems.

Lonny Smith, Senior Business Development Manager, AgroLiquid, said it is a great opportunity for AgroLiquid as a manufacturer of liquid plant nutrition to be able to recognize innovative and resourceful growers.

“It is inspiring to see that there are great innovators and that this industry is moving forward,” Smith said. “I think the benefit to AgroLiquid in honoring a recipient for the Grower Achievement Award is getting that pulse of the industry and knowing what growers are facing, where the industry is going, hearing about the challenges they face, how they deal with consumers, and how they grow their business.”

Going forward, Bender said Tasteful Selections already has an expansion in the works for its cold storage facility, will continue to work on the next great potato variety, and focus on convenience.

“Consumers have less time to prepare meals, so we are going to be seeing more fresh, convenient servings of [many food products],” Bender said. “The way we have set up our bags of potatoes, it takes just a few minutes to cook our product. For us, we will continue to look at offering consumers convenience.”

 

Leave a Reply

Grower Achievement Award Stories
Grower Achievement Award
September 6, 2017
Jones Potato Farm Wins the 2017 Grower Achievement Award!
American Vegetable Grower magazine is proud to announce Parrish, FL-based Jones Potato Farm is the 2017 recipient of its prestigious Grower Achievement Award. This national award is given annually to an operation that exemplifies the best of the national growing community. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
February 24, 2017
Know a Vegetable Grower Who’s Innovative and Stands Above the Rest?
Then nomination him or her for American Vegetable Grower magazine’s 2017 Grower Achievement Award. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 31, 2016
The 2016 Grower Achievement Award Winner Looks For The Next Great Potato Variety
Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections, the 2016 Grower Achievement Award recipient, will continue to work on great-tasting potato varieties and offering consumers convenience. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 12, 2016
Grower Achievement Award Winner Says More Automation And Education Needed
Managing water, labor, and consumer perceptions are top issues for vegetable producers. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of American Vegetable Grower’s 2016 Grower Achievement Award
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Farm Management
September 14, 2016
Tasteful Selections Takes Home The 2016 Grower Achievement Award
The award was presented at United Fresh’s Washington Conference where discussions focused on labor, trade agreements, and the upcoming election. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
August 31, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The 2016 Grower Achievement Award Recipient
From tuber to table, Tasteful Selections and Bob Bender focus on vertical integration from propagating potato seed to growing and packaging on a year-round basis. Read More
GAA winner Pero 2015
Grower Achievement Award
October 29, 2015
Words From The 2015 Grower Achievement Award Winner
Peter Pero IV of Pero Family Farms, the 2015 Grower Achievement Award recipient, said his plan going forward is to promote nutrition. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 10, 2015
Three Questions With The Grower Achievement Award Winner
Peter Pero of Pero Family Farms says teaching kids the value of farming is a critical step moving forward. Read More
2015 Grower Achievement Award ceremony in Washington, DC
Grower Achievement Award
September 30, 2015
Pero Family Farms Receives The Grower Achievement Award In Washington, DC
American Vegetable Grower magazine's annual award was represented at United Fresh’s Washington Conference where childhood nutrition, the drought in the West, and immigration reform were hot topics. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 1, 2015
Pero Family Farms Is The 2015 Grower Achievement Award Recipient
The farm family that runs this Delray Beach-FL based operation develops, produces, packages, and markets its fresh-cut products while continuing to think outside the box. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 29, 2014
Grower Achievement Award Recipient Says The Ag Industry Will Continue To Advance
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms, the recipient of the 2014 Grower Achievement Award, says it is up to us to propel the industry forward. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 15, 2014
View Highlights From The 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference [slideshow]
Browse this slideshow to view photos from the 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, including pictures of this year’s Grower Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 10, 2014
Robert Sakata Of Sakata Farms Takes Home The 2014 Grower Achievement Award
When accepting the award at United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference, the Colorado sweet corn and onion grower recalled how his father started the farm in the late 1940s. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 5, 2014
2014 Grower Achievement Award Winner: Robert Sakata Of Sakata Farms
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms says getting agriculture’s message to the masses will be critical to the future of the industry. Read More
The Latest
Grower Achievement Award
September 20, 2017
Ask Yourself: What Can I Do to Make Thin…
Alan Jones, this year's recipient of American Vegetable Grower magazine's Grower Achievement Award, invites all growers to do what he does: Look in the mirror and ask," What can I do to make a positive impact on our industry?" Read More
Business Planning
September 7, 2017
Make Failure Your Secret Weapon [Opinion…
Something this year's winner of American Vegetable Grower magazine’s Grower Achievement Award, Alan Jones, said really highlights why he and his wife, Leslie, are doing so well with their farm: “To be innovative, you have to be willing to fail.” Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 6, 2017
Saving 1 Million Gallons of Water a Day:…
The industry struggles to find the right sustainable practices. Alan and Leslie Jones are rolling up their sleeves and finding results. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 6, 2017
Jones Potato Farm Wins the 2017 Grower A…
American Vegetable Grower magazine is proud to announce Parrish, FL-based Jones Potato Farm is the 2017 recipient of its prestigious Grower Achievement Award. This national award is given annually to an operation that exemplifies the best of the national growing community. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
February 24, 2017
Know a Vegetable Grower Who’s Innovative…
Then nomination him or her for American Vegetable Grower magazine’s 2017 Grower Achievement Award. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 31, 2016
The 2016 Grower Achievement Award Winner…
Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections, the 2016 Grower Achievement Award recipient, will continue to work on great-tasting potato varieties and offering consumers convenience. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 12, 2016
Grower Achievement Award Winner Says Mor…
Managing water, labor, and consumer perceptions are top issues for vegetable producers. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of …
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Farm Management
September 14, 2016
Tasteful Selections Takes Home The 2016 …
The award was presented at United Fresh’s Washington Conference where discussions focused on labor, trade agreements, and the upcoming election. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
August 31, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The 2016 Grower A…
From tuber to table, Tasteful Selections and Bob Bender focus on vertical integration from propagating potato seed to growing and packaging on a year-round basis. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 29, 2015
Words From The 2015 Grower Achievement A…
Peter Pero IV of Pero Family Farms, the 2015 Grower Achievement Award recipient, said his plan going forward is to promote nutrition. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
October 10, 2015
Three Questions With The Grower Achievem…
Peter Pero of Pero Family Farms says teaching kids the value of farming is a critical step moving forward. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 30, 2015
Pero Family Farms Receives The Grower Ac…
American Vegetable Grower magazine's annual award was represented at United Fresh’s Washington Conference where childhood nutrition, the drought in the West, and immigration reform were hot topics. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 1, 2015
Pero Family Farms Is The 2015 Grower Ach…
The farm family that runs this Delray Beach-FL based operation develops, produces, packages, and markets its fresh-cut products while continuing to think outside the box. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 29, 2014
Grower Achievement Award Recipient Says …
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms, the recipient of the 2014 Grower Achievement Award, says it is up to us to propel the industry forward. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 15, 2014
View Highlights From The 2014 United Fre…
Browse this slideshow to view photos from the 2014 United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, including pictures of this year’s Grower Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 10, 2014
Robert Sakata Of Sakata Farms Takes Home…
When accepting the award at United Fresh’s Washington Public Policy Conference, the Colorado sweet corn and onion grower recalled how his father started the farm in the late 1940s. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 5, 2014
2014 Grower Achievement Award Winner: Ro…
Robert Sakata of Sakata Farms says getting agriculture’s message to the masses will be critical to the future of the industry. Read More