( By Ken Hammond/United States Department of Agriculture )

Hosted by several industry associations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Greg Ibach toured fresh produce operations near Fresno, Calif., on June 6.

Leaders from United Fresh Produce Association, California Fresh Fruit Association and California Citrus Mutual hosted Ibach, the under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs, on several farm tours, according to a news release. Tour stops included Wonderful Citrus, HMC Farms and Family Tree Farms.

Topics discussed with industry leaders included trade, the fight against crop pests and USDA programs important to the industry.

“Having key administration leaders such as Under Secretary Ibach visit with our industry and hear first-hand from our members is always an important opportunity for the fresh produce industry,” Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy at United Fresh, said in the release. “We also appreciate having industry partners such as California Fresh Fruit Association and California Citrus Mutual join us and coordinate these events and thank them for their leadership in hosting the under secretary in the Central Valley.”

Guenther said in the release that Ibach serves in a critical role at USDA for the fresh produce industry, overseeing a wide range of policy and regulatory issues.

“We thank him for rolling up his sleeves and hearing first-hand today from our industry about the key challenges and opportunities before us on a daily basis,” Guenther said in the release.