Steve Bassi (left), the chief ag officer at Tanimura & Antle, received the company's first Demeter Award from company president and CEO Rick Antle. Photo courtesy Tanimura & Antle.

Described as having the mind of a scientist and the soul of a farmer, Tanimura & Antle’s Chief Ag Officer Steve Bassi received the company’s first Demeter Award for Agricultural Excellence and Leadership.

In a news release, Taniumura & Antle CEO Rick Antle said the award is “celebratory, everlasting and self-renewing,” and is named after the goddess of agriculture.

Bassi has worked for the company 31 years, playing multiple roles, becoming the “go-to guy for what is happening on the farm,” according to the release.

The Demeter award program was launched in connection with the Tanimura & Antle employee stock ownership plan this year. The company celebrated is 35th year in operation in November.

“It’s truly a great honor,” Bassi said in the release. I am extremely proud of the company, accomplishments, team, grower and farmland base that has been built over the years.”

Bassi said he plans to continue pass on the advice, guidance and mentoring he received from Rick and Bob Antle, George Tanimura, and his brothers Bobby, Charlie, Johnny and Tommy Tanimura.

Bassi received the award Dec. 8.