Western Growers will be recognizing Steve Patricio at its annual meeting in October. ( Western Growers )

Steve Patricio, president and CEO of Westside Produce, Firebaugh, Calif., and a former chairman of Western Growers and of the Center for Produce Safety, will be celebrated at the Western Growers annual meeting this fall.

He will be recognized with the Award of Honor for his many contributions to the industry, particularly in the area of food safety, according to a news release.

“Steve has been a tireless advocate for agriculture, and his ability to turn some of the most tumultuous challenges that our industry has faced over the past few decades into opportunities is unmatched,” Tom Nassif, president and CEO of Western Growers, said in the release. “He has already left a tremendous legacy as someone who shoulders the responsibility of igniting change that advances the industry as a whole.”



Patricio led the development of the first mandatory food safety program for California cantaloupes and helped raise millions for research aimed at preventing foodborne illness. He also played a role in the creation of the California and Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements.

In addition, he has dedicated a significant amount of time to advocating for a sustainable water supply for growers.

“When you look at the success of California agriculture, Steve is a true representative of why the ag community is as successful as it is today,” Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli, executive director of the Center for Produce Safety, said in the release. “He truly embodies passion and proactivity, and his commitment to food safety to benefit both the consumer and industry is unlike any other.”

Patricio will receive the Award of Honor at the Western Growers dinner gala Oct. 30 in Palm Desert, Calif.