Central Coast native Claire Wineman has succeeded Richard Quandt as president of the Guadalupe, Calif.-based Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
Wineman took over Jan. 1.
Quandt, who stepped down after 30 years at the helm, will continue to work for the association on a part-time basis, handling labor issues and legal services, Wineman said.
Wineman, who grew up on a cattle ranch on Highway 166 and graduated from Arroyo Grande High School, joined the association in 2011 as vice president of policy and communications.
After earning a degree in environmental economics and policy from the University of California-Berkeley, Wineman worked for Bay Area agricultural consulting firm Agland Investment Services and for the Cachuma Resource Conservation District, where she served in an outreach role to Hispanic farmers.
Wineman said she’s thankful to have a job in the community she grew up in.
“I love the Central Coast, and I feel very strongly about agriculture,” she said. “It’s important to me that there be agriculture in our local future. And I really enjoy hanging out with farmers — how quickly they adapt, and the speed at which things change in the field.”
Immigration and water issues will continue to be among the most important issues facing the association, Wineman said.
One of her priorities will be to make sure long-term interests aren’t sacrificed for short-term gains, she said.
One current example is regulators’ focus on managing nitrates in water, which Wineman said could come at the expense of managing salt levels.