The Organic Grower Summit, presented by Western Growers and OPN, will honor long-time organic grower Jeff Huckaby as the fifth annual Grower of the Year. Huckaby, president and CEO of Grimmway Farms, was selected based on his commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation.
The Grower of the Year award, sponsored by AGCO, will be presented as part of the keynote presentation at the Organic Grower Summit.
“Over the past three decades, Jeff has worked tirelessly to encourage water conservation and natural methods for pest control and always found ways to share information about those practices with other organic growers,” said Matt Seeley, co-founder, and CEO of Organic Produce Network. “His dedication to the environment and community is what makes him so deserving of the title of Grower of the Year.”
Huckaby is a fourth-generation farmer who has more than 30 years of farming management experience and deep roots in the produce industry. He joined Grimmway Farms in 1998 and managed its organic division. During his tenure, the program has grown from several hundred to 40,000 acres of certified organic ground. Before becoming president and CEO in 2016, he served as executive vice president and oversaw sales, production, engineering, and farming for all Grimmway Farms products.
The award will be presented to Huckaby by the recognized organic leader and former president of Whole Foods, Walter Robb.
In addition to the annual award, other keynote presentations at OGS 2022 will be “Grower Roundtable: The State of Organic Growing,” moderated by Dave Puglia, president, and CEO of Western Growers. Panelists for the keynote roundtable include Brie Reiter Smith, VP of product leadership for Driscoll’s; Michael DuPuis, quality assurance and public relations coordinator for Divine Flavor; and Tom Nunes, vice president of The Nunes Company. The thought-provoking keynote presentation will explore how these three leaders in organic production are dealing with hot-button topics, including supply chain issues, inflation, labor, new innovations, and technologies.
Other educational sessions slated include:
- The Future of Ag Tech—Expanding On-Farm Profitability
- Regenerative Organic Marketing and Certification—What Lies Ahead?
- The Growth, Opportunities, and Future of CEA Production
- Get Ahead of the Curve and Avoid Regulatory Speedbumps
- Exploring Organic Research: A Discussion of Organic Grower Challenges and Solutions
- Less Chemistry and More Biology
OGS 2022 will be held November 30–December 1 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa in Monterey, California, and general registration is currently open. The sold-out OGS trade show floor will feature soil amendment, ag tech, food safety, packaging, and equipment exhibitors who will have the opportunity to connect with organic field production staff, supply chain managers, pest management advisors, and food safety experts.