John D'Arrigo, president of D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California has been named to lead Western Growers board of directors in 2004. D'Arrigo was elected during the recent board meeting at the 78th Annual Meeting at Hyatt Regency at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz.

D'Arrigo Bros. was founded more than 80 years ago when Andrew and Stephen D'Arrigo emigrated from Italy to begin a produce business. They soon founded a wholesale operation in Boston, Mass., later expanding into California to help supply the east coast operation. The family-owned company is credited with the development of the commercial broccoli business in the United States.

John D'Arrigo, a third-generation farmer, was introduced to the produce industry at age 12 in the 1970s, at a time of great labor unrest in the Salinas Valley. He joined the family company after graduating from the University of California at Davis. He was also past chairman of the Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association of Central California.

“I'm truly honored to be chosen to lead this group,” said D'Arrigo. “I look forward to the exciting changes coming up this next year, especially with the new administration in the governor's office. I want to help resolve industry's problems, like workers' compensation and labor shortages. On the federal side, I hope our Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act of 2003 will come to fruition.”

In addition to broccoli, D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California's other commodities are broccoli rabe, fennel, cauliflower, lettuces (romaine, iceberg, green leaf, red leaf and butter) and cactus pears.

The board also named John Powell Jr., of Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella, Calif., senior vice chairman; Will Rousseau, Rousseau Farming Co. of Tolleson, Ariz., vice chairman; Steve Patricio, Westside Produce in Firebaugh, Calif., treasurer and Robert P. Gray, Duda California/Gene Jackson Farms Inc. of Salinas, Calif., executive secretary. The board also elected Tom Nassif to continue as president of Western Growers.

The directors appointed at-large for 2004 are John Baillie, Tri-Counties Packing Co. in Salinas, Calif., Carol Chandler, Chandler Farms in Selma, Calif.; and Joe Colace, Five Crowns Marketing, Inc. in Brawley, Calif. Philip Henry, Henry Avocado Corp., Escondido Calif.; Dennis Parnagian, Fowler Packing Co., Fresno, Calif., and Norman Shiffman, Dole Fresh Vegetables of Salinas, Calif., will also continue as directors at-large in 2004.

The remaining members of the 2004 Western Growers board of directors are Robert Barkley, Barkley Ag Enterprises LLP in Yuma, Ariz.; Stephen J. Barnard, Mission Produce Inc. in Oxnard, Calif.; Bardin E. Bengard of Bengard Ranch in Salinas, Calif.; Brian Bertelsen, Cove Ranch Management in Reedley, Calif.; Ernest J. Bontadelli, Bontadelli, Inc., in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Ronald Burk, Gold Coast Farms Inc., Santa Maria, Calif.; Edwin Camp, D.M. Camp & Sons, Bakersfield, Calif.; George R. Cappello, Cappello Farms, Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif.; Sig Christierson, Major Farms, Inc. of Salinas, Calif.; Stephen F. Danna, Danna & Danna, Inc. of Salinas, Calif.; Thomas D. Deardorff II, Deardorff-Jackson Co. of Oxnard, Calif.; Charles Fanucchi, Tri-Fanucchi Farms, Inc. in Bakersfield, Calif.; David L. Gill, Rio Farms of King City, Calif.; John B. Giovannetti, B.E. Giovannetti & Sons of Huron, Calif.; John J. Gless, Gless Ranch Inc. of Riverside, Calif.; Robert A. Grimm, Grimmway Enterprises Inc. of Bakersfield, Calif.; David H. Hart, Royal Packing Co. of Salinas, Calif. and Alex C. Jack, Jack Bros. Inc. of Brawley, Calif.

Other 2004 directors are Fred P. LoBue Jr., LoBue Bros., Inc., of Lindsay, Calif.; Stephen A. Martori, Martori Farms of Scottsdale, Ariz.; David G. Mills, Mills Inc. of Salinas, Calif.; Gary J. Pasquinelli, Pasquinelli Produce Co. of Yuma, Ariz.; Mark Perez, Perez Packing, Inc. of Firebaugh, Calif.; Craig A. Reade, Bonita Packing Co. of Santa Maria, Calif.; J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc. of Watsonville, Calif.; Joseph A. “Sonny” Rodriguez, The Growers Co. Inc. of Somerton, Ariz.; Stephen H. Smith, Turlock Fruit Co. of Turlock, Calif.; Rick Stacey, Visalia Citrus Packing Group LP of Visalia, Calif.; Dean C. Storkan, Tri-Cal Inc., of Hollister, Calif.; Bruce Taylor, Taylor Farms California of Salinas, Calif.; Glenn Teixeira, Teixeira Farms Inc. of Santa Maria, Calif.; Donald Valpredo, Donald Valpredo Farms in Bakersfield, Calif., and Jon J. Vessey, Vessey & Co., Inc. of El Centro, Calif.