Jason Smith (from left), new chairman of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, with former chairman Pat Collins and president Jim Bogart, during the association’s annual meeting. ( Photo Courtesy Grower-Shipper Assn. of Central California. )

Jason Smith, president and CEO of Smith Family of Wines, is the new chairman of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Salinas.

The family business was one of the first wineries that became a member of the association about 20 years ago, and Smith has been an active member for many of those years, according to a news release.

Smith also has been involved with the Monterey County Farm Bureau, the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, the California Association of Wine Grape Growers and Monterey County Ag Education Inc.

During the Grower-Shipper Association’s annual meeting in mid-May when Smith was inaugurated, he spoke about importance of industry involvement in local, state and national politics.

“There are a lot of challenges that our family members face daily, and when it comes to agreeing on a way forward, sometimes that’s easy, and sometime it’s not,” Smith said during the meeting, according to the release. “As I’ve taken on more of a role in the discussion in the past few years, I’ve realized that listening is essential, and that it’s easier said than done.”

Smith’s term as chairman is until May 2019.

Also during the meeting, Ed Boutonnet, former president and CEO of Ocean Mist Farms, was named as the E.E. “Gene” Hardin Award Honoree for lifetime achievement in Central Coast agriculture, according to the news release. Association president and general counsel Jim Bogart. The award will be presented during the association’s annual banquet June 23.