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Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Announces 2017 Leadership Team

For Immediate Release:  April 7, 2017

Contacts:           Robert Sakata 303-947-3097 or rtsakata@aol.com

Marilyn Bay Drake 303-594-3827 or admin@coloradoproduce.org


Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Announces 2017 Leadership Team

Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., Elected President
Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., was elected last month by the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) board of directors to serve a fourth year as president of the association. He has been elected president each year, since 2014 when CFVGA was founded.

Other officers elected include Roger Mix, Mix Farms, Center, Colo., vice president; and Glenn Hirakata, Hirakata Farms, Rocky Ford, Colo., secretary. Reid Fishering, Mountain Quality Sweet Corn, Olathe, Colo., was re-elected treasurer.

David Asbury, Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Ranch/Full Circle Farms, Boulder, Colo., was elected by the board in January to fill the term of resigning board member Jason Condon. Asbury, who grew up on a farm west of Longmont and studied agriculture at Colorado State University (CSU), started his own farm with just five acres off Highway 66 in Boulder County. His operation has become a local landmark and designation for consumers who enjoy his seasonal produce market and annual fall festival. A certified organic grower, he is most known for his chiles and fall squash.

Additions to the board elected by the membership Feb. 21, during the CFVGA annual business meeting and convention include Grant Mattive, Worley Family Farms, Sargent, Colo., and Jeni Lamb Rogers, Holland and Hart LLP, Denver, Colo.

Mattive, a mechanical engineer by training, farms with five family members in the San Luis Valley. They raise potatoes, barley, alfalfa, and quinoa. Mattive enjoys employing his skills as a private pilot to check his crops from the air. He also serves as president of the Colorado Certified Potato Growers Association and is a volunteer wrestling coach and 4-H leader.

Lamb Rogers, an attorney, holds a master of science in agricultural economics from Virginia Tech. Her passion is food and agricultural law. She assists agriculture and food clients with regulatory compliance, including the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). She also is on the board of Sprout City Farms, an urban farming non-profit organization based in Denver, and a member of the Local Food Safety Collaborative steering committee.

Re-elected in February for another three-year term is Bruce Talbott, Talbott Mountain Gold, Palisade, Colo. Other CFVGA board members whose terms continue include Dominic DiSanti, DiSanti Farms, Pueblo, Colo., and Larry Duell, Gowan Seed Co. Talbott and DiSanti are both fifth generation Colorado growers.  Ex-officio (non-voting) board members include Marilyn Bay Drake, CFVGA executive director, Eaton, Colo., Beth LaShell, Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colo.; Dr. Michael Bartolo, CSU Arkansas Valley Research Center, Rocky Ford, Colo.; and Adrian Card, CSU Extension, Boulder County.

“We are indeed fortunate to have a board with such passion and varied talents working on behalf of CFVGA members,” said Sakata. “As a relatively new and lean organization, our board members work very hard. I want to say a huge thank you to them!”

As an organization, CFVGA activities are focused around five pillar priorities for the Colorado produce industry. These include food safety, labor, water, nutrition & health and business development.

The CFVGA continues to grow and is now comprised of more than 220 members, including growers of all sizes and types of production throughout the state, as well as representatives of allied industries. The Colorado fruit and vegetable growing sector contributes nearly $300 million to Colorado at the farm gate and is multiplied as it goes through the distribution chain. Over 60,000 Colorado acres are in fruit and vegetable production.


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