SAVANNAH, Ga. — New Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association leadership was named at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference.
During the Jan. 10-13 convention, the La Grange-based association elected new officers and also recognized industry members who contributed to the produce industry in 2012.
Outgoing president Dick Minor, a partner with Minor Produce Inc., Leslie, said leading the industry the past two years showed the influence Georgia grower-shippers possess.
“I’ve witnessed the power the Georgia association has in Washington (D.C.) and Atlanta,” Minor said during a Jan. 12 awards breakfast. “To accompany these guys up there and be immediately recognized in congressmen and senators’ offices and to be asked our advice and to hear lawmakers pick up the phones and talk with farmers and seek their opinions ... that tells me we are really making a difference. Obamacare and E-Verify — that’s the battleground and why our association is so important.”
New president Jamie Brannen said Minor led the organization through challenging issues and said he has been careful to relate the image growers’ need of their association. Brannen is the Statesboro-based salesman with Curry & Co., Brooks, Ore.
In its annual awards, David Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology for the United Fresh Produce Association, Washington, D.C., recognized Brannen as a member of the 18th United Fresh produce industry leadership program class.
“We are extremely proud to have Jamie join the ranks of this prestigious group,” Gombas said.
In other awards, the association honored Elvin Andrews, Clinch and Lanier counties extension agent in Homerville, as the recipient of this year’s Donnie H. Morris Award of Excellence in Extension in memory of Donnie Morris, a long-time supporter of the Georgia cooperative extension service and former Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association president.
The Columbia-based South Carolina Peach Council awarded Desmond Layne, a Clemson University professor of pomology, as its 2013 Mr. Peach and the Georgia growers association recognized Dug Schwalls, sales director for Norman Park-based Southern Valley Fruit & Vegetable Inc., and Stacy Spivey, the Vidalia-based North American berry program director for Alpine Fresh in Miami, for being honored in other industry publications.