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President’s Message July 11, 2016

President's Message

Monday, July 11th 2016


CGTFL President, Barry Bedwell
CFFA President, Barry Bedwell
President, Barry Bedwell

Welcome to the California Fresh Fruit Association’s website. We hope you find the information here valuable and we encourage you to contact us with any suggestions or questions.


Recently I made the very difficult decision to conclude my time here with the California Fresh Fruit Association and take the position of president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation. I am a graduate of the Leadership Program, being a member of Class13, and I have always been grateful and indebted to those that gave me a chance to participate in a program that not only changed my professional career, but in many ways my life, from that point forward. The opportunity to lead such an organization, and particularly put to use the knowledge I had gained in representing production agriculture for almost four decades, had very strong appeal. However, given the multitude of issues currently facing our members, there was simply no way I could make a move unless I felt the Association was in good hands and would continue to provide the best possible representation and advocacy. So in thinking about the type of individual who could take the reins at CFFA and work effectively with the very strong staff of Marcy, Chris, Ian, Sara, Vicky, Erin and Allyson currently in place, one person kept coming to mind. That person was a former Congressman who had served eight terms and helped lead the fight for more water for agriculture but also comprehensive immigration reform, at times in conflict with his own party. He was an individual who was universally well liked and respected. And who could bring an additional aspect of recognition and access to the organization. The simple question was if this gentleman would be interested in this challenge at this time? Luckily the stars seemed to align and George Radanovich was at a point in his life with his son headed off to college in Mississippi and a desire to expand beyond his current work as a winemaker and vineyardist in Mariposa. After discussions with the chairman of CFFA and then the Executive Committee which also serves as the Personnel Committee, the stage was set for a smooth transition. I am very pleased that CFFA was able to team up with George as I now depart my position knowing the Association is poised for the future. I feel I can now do all I can in helping direct a leadership program that can, should and must have a powerful impact on the future of California agriculture. For without new and effective leadership in the years ahead, all of the wonderful things that this state’s farmers, processors and marketers have accomplished will only be a reference point in history. Thank you so much for the past thirteen years and the honor to represent the best growers, packers, shippers, marketers and associates in the world! I will always cherish my time with CFFA and I encourage you to continue your steadfast support for this outstanding organization!


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