Garnica died Aug. 26 at his home in Yuma, Ariz., after a battle with cancer. He was 57 years old.
He started his career at a young age, learning from his father how to cut lettuce. He later worked in the fields with his wife, moving from Yuma to Salinas, Calif., for the harvest seasons, according to his obituary.
For 40 years, he followed the harvest in California and Arizona, moving from the fields to other roles in the industry.
He worked for Church Brothers, Fresh Co., and Fresh Express before joining Taylor Farms in 2004.
He was a lettuce cutter and loader and worked in field operations before becoming Taylor Farms’ iceberg harvest manager and later vice president of agricultural operations.
Garnica played a critical role in changing how Taylor Farms thought about “assured supply,” and developed a team to drive the new standard for quality and reliability throughout the industry, according to a statement from Taylor Farms.
“Albert Garnica’s hard work and dedication made him a great asset to the Taylor Farms leadership team, but it was his friendship and generosity that made an indelible mark on our company and our lives,” Taylor Farms California President Mark Borman said in the statement.
Garnica mentored “countless” people in the industry at Taylor Farms and other companies, according to the statement.
“The enthusiasm and heart he brought to work daily will never be forgotten and we thank him for his years of ensuring consumers had access to healthy, fresh foods,” according to the statement.
There will be a celebration of life for Garnica from 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 5, according to his obituary. All are welcome; the family requests people wear a mask.