Western Growers’ officials have hired Hadi Tabbara as director of science and technology.

Tabbara joins Western Growers with academic training in agronomy, water quality, manure management, and environmental chemistry. He holds a doctorate from Iowa State University, a master’s from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s from the American University of Beirut where he served as a USAID fellow.

“We conducted a wide and thorough search for the right person to serve as director of Western Growers’ Science and Technology Department,” said Western Growers president and chief executive officer Tom Nassif.

“Hadi’s multidisciplinary background in agriculture, water resources, and environmental sciences and his genuine interest in the sustainability and profitability of agriculture have prepared him well to direct the science and technology department at Western Growers.”

Tabbara has served as a senior researcher at Arizona State University and held post-doctoral scientist positions at Iowa State University and at the USDA Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix. His experience also includes managing agricultural and environmental laboratories and the marketing of crop protection chemicals.

In addition to teaching university courses in agriculture and chemistry, Tabbara has published papers on soil and water salinity, soil fertility, and non-point source pollution from manure and fertilizer.

He was inducted into the honorary societies of Gamma Sigma Delta (Agriculture), Alpha Epsilon (Agricultural Engineering) and Phi Lambda Upsilon (Chemistry) and was included this year’s registry of “Who’s Who in America.”

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Tabbara to the Western Growers family,” said Western Growers Vice President of Science and Technology Hank Giclas.

“His knowledge and experience will prove invaluable as Western Growers continues to research and develop scientific data, which serves as the backbone for good agricultural practices, good manufacturing practices, volatile organic compound recommendations, air and water quality recommendations, and so on.”

“This position has remained open for a long time,” added Nassif. “We wanted to make sure we hired the right person who could further expand Western Growers’ ability to develop best practices and technical research based on the soundest scientific data we have at our disposal. Dr. Tabbara is that person.”

Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose nearly 3,000 members grow, pack and ship 90 percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and 75 percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half the nation’s produce.