( Photos courtesy Dwight Ferguson and Abby Taylor-Silva; logo courtesy California Agricultural Leadership Foundation; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

The California Agriculture Leadership Foundation (CALF) has hired Dwight Ferguson as CEO and Abby Taylor-Silva as executive vice president.

Their arrival follows the retirement of Barry Bedwell, who has been with the organization for four years. Before that, Bedwell was president of the California Fresh Fruit Association, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League and Allied Grape Growers.

Ferguson was at Naturipe Farms for 10 years, most recently as president and CEO. He was president, CEO and director of Eurofresh Inc., and before that, was president/CEO at Florimex International and division vice president at Chiquita Brands International.

“Dwight has a track-record of growing ag businesses and the teams needed to build them,” Michael Young, CALF board chairman, said in the release. “He is a recognized industry leader who is known for his management, interpersonal and problem-solving skills.”

Taylor-Silva most recently was vice president of policy and communications for the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, where she was for 10 ½ years. Before that, she was executive director of Ag Against Hunger and a communications specialist for the California Strawberry Commission.

Young is the new chairman of the organization’s board of directors. He is a principal of Wegis & Young, a diversified farming operation that grows tree and row crops, according to the release.

Correen Davis, Yissel Barajas and Paul Parreira, all alumni of the CALF’s California Agricultural Leadership Program, are new members to the foundation board.

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