How We Grow

2021 Sept/Oct How We Grow

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 23

At least a few times a year, a business conversation shifts to my early days, and I'm asked how I found myself in the almond industry. I'm not sure my story is too different from a lot of those in our industry. I studied Crop Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I can remember different buddies of mine who wanted to be football players, baseball players or even rockstars. And while those were awesome dreams, all I ever wanted was to be like my dad. Some people would say that I really didn't have a choice when it came to deciding my profession. As a child, I remember pretending I was operating an almond harvester. My dad tossed me into a ton of different jobs – hoeing weeds, checking sprinklers and working in the shop. Getting tossed into the shop at an early age while my dad farmed was probably the most impactful on my life. During the off-season at the hulling facility, I would take everything apart and put it back together; that gave me a lot of practice with maintenance and fabrication. Looking back now, I can see that I always had a mind for trying to solve a problem or do things a little better. That same mindset of solving problems is what made the Technical and Regulatory Affairs Committee (TRAC) attractive to me. The committee members, made up of industry volunteers, help guide the incredible work of the Global, Technical and Regulatory Affairs (GTRA) team at the Almond Board of California (ABC). What surprised me the most about this small, but mighty team was the sheer number of hurdles and obstacles GTRA tackles that the industry never realizes, unless they attend a TRAC meeting. In this issue of How We Grow, you will learn more about team, the issues they face and how they support and defend our industry. Unfortunately, because the GTRA team is so efficient at handling problems, the industry often doesn't realize how much some of those market hold-ups can impact what growers are doing in the orchard. Although it's on the opposite side of the supply chain, damage from navel orangeworm (NOW), aflatoxin, pesticide use and other applied products can all trigger changes in certain markets and stall almond shipments at ports. I think growers are doing a first-class job at fine-tuning their practices, such as utilizing integrated pest management practices to reduce sprays. Any and every small step growers make towards improvement is helpful in our communications with authorities in these major markets, allowing the GTRA team proof to back up a potential request for change. ABC is helping the industry continue to improve in multiple areas, thanks to our massive research portfolio. The projects detail everything from in-orchard practices like pest sampling at harvest, to the development of futuristic technology that may help shoot down NOW. I encourage you to check out both topics in this issue of How We Grow. I believe almond growers are doing an amazing job of staying ahead of the curve. I encourage the industry to keep up the commitment for continuous improvement, not only because it helps the bottom line, but because it helps ABC's GTRA team deal with potential issues. I'd like to think if policy makers and consumers knew how hard growers were working to do things right, they would respect and appreciate us more. I love this industry. My family got me involved in farming and I would love for my offspring someday to do the same. LEADERSHIP pages/default.aspx Use our research portfolio to access over 30 years of production and environmental research in the form of annual reports, updates-proceedings, and posters. Jonathan Hoff, TRAC Committee Chair and CEO of Monte Vista Farming "ABC is helping the industry continue to improve in multiple areas, thanks to our massive research portfolio." — Jonathan Hoff 1

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of How We Grow - 2021 Sept/Oct How We Grow