How We Grow

2019 Nov/Dec How We Grow

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS 22 In honor of the CASP 10 Year Anniversary, this issue's "Movers and Shakers" highlights industry members who were early adopters of the CASP modules and/or handler-facing Supply Chain Pilot Program, and those who remain on the cutting edge of sustainable practices in their commitment to produce the highest quality product in safer and more responsible ways. Donny & Lele Hicks The Hicks completed their first CASP modules in 2011 and never looked back. The duo farms 18 acres of almonds surrounding the home where Lele was raised, and over the years they have integrated new technologies and innovations that make their acreage a state-of-the art operation. They have enrolled their 18 acres of almonds in all CASP self-assessment modules, and Donny believes the process has helped him become a better farmer. Participating in CASP has also helped him improve his skills as a field representative for Hughson Nut Inc., where he uses his firsthand experience as a grower participant in CASP to mentor growers on how to improve production practices and how to enroll their orchards in the program. Eric Genzoli Fourth-generation almond grower Eric Genzoli completed his first CASP module in 2011. Farming 300 acres of almonds in the Turlock area, Genzoli incorporates learnings gained through CASP data into all areas of his operation, from sprayer calibration to improved succession planning for his operation. Sustainability is an integral part of Genzoli's production practices that involves looking at the big picture and broader impacts of every decision he makes in the orchard. According to Genzoli, "The biggest benefit of participating in CASP is seeing what other farmers are doing in the industry and how we can improve and incorporate new strategies into our operation. It has made me a better farmer." Micah Zeff & Montpelier Nut Co. Kenfield Alldrin and Steven Zeff founded Montpelier Nut Company in 1996, and in 2008 Steven's son Micah joined the leadership team. Today, the handler is one of the earliest adopters of the CASP Supply Chain Pilot Program. The program provides handlers with an aggregated report summarizing their growers' practices. Data from the report can then be shared with buyers across the globe whose sustainability-minded customers are making purchasing decisions based on that information. "I strongly encourage handlers to participate in the program and highlight the tremendous work California almonds growers undertake to sustainably produce almonds," said Micah, who sits on ABC's Board of Directors and is a graduate of the Almond Leadership Program. MOVERS AND SHAKERS Donny & Lele Hicks Eric Genzoli Micah Zeff & Montpelier Nut Co.

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