Ryan Talley of Talley Farms has taken over as chairman of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA), replacing Jamie Strachan, Growers Express LLC who has served as chairman of the food safety program for the past two years.
The LGMA, created in 2007 as a model food safety program using mandatory government audits to verify a set of science-based food safety practices are being followed on leafy greens farms, approved a new slate of officers at a Board meeting held in Salinas, April 27. In addition to Talley, other newly elected officers are Ron Ratto, of Ratto Brothers, who has served as treasurer of the organization for the past two years, and moves up to Vice Chairman; while Victor Tognazzini, a Santa Maria leafy greens farmer and general manager of Tri-Valley Vegetable Harvesting Inc., takes over as the new treasurer.
“Every two years the LGMA elects new officers and we are very fortunate to have so many leaders of the California leafy green industry who serve on our Board of Directors,” said Scott Horsfall, President and CEO of the LGMA. “We are very pleased to welcome Ryan, Ron and Victor to their new offices and are grateful that past officers like Jamie and Joe Pezzini remain involved.”
“I am looking forward to serving the industry in this capacity to help the LGMA in its continuing efforts to evolve and improve this program,” said new Chairman Talley. “I have extreme confidence in the current officers and LGMA Board members. Past officers, like Jamie and Joe, have given us an easy path to follow when it comes to leading the industry toward even safer leafy greens.”
Outgoing Chairman Strachan said “Ryan, Ron and Victor have been committed and influential members of the Board and past Officers in a number of important capacities. Their history and leadership will be essential as they focus efforts on harmonizing auditing requirements and continuing to improve the safety of California Leafy Greens.”
Talley works with his brother and cousin as a senior manager of Talley Farms, a farming business begun by his grandparents in 1948 in Arroyo Grande, California. Talley Farms is a grower, packer and shipper of vegetables marketed under the Talley Farms, Arroyo Grande and Talley Family Farms Organic labels.
Vice Chairman Ron Ratto is president of Modesto-based Ratto Bros., Inc., whose family began growing vegetables in California over 100 years ago and today produces a number of leafy greens products including chard, mustard greens, leaf lettuces and cabbage.
Victor Tonazzini, is a founding LGMA board member and serves on the Communications and Compliance committees. He was born and raised in Santa Maria, CA and is a descendent of a pioneer farming family that came to the central coast in the late 1800s. In addition to his farming activities he oversees the Tri-valley Vegetable Harvesting operations and is the founder and director of Food Safety Consulting Services. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on food safety and for five years wrote the weekly “On the Farm” column for the Santa Maria Times and Lompoc Record newspapers. He is a past president of the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau, director for the California Farm Bureau and delegate to the American Farm Bureau.
New officers will serve for the fiscal year which began April 1, 2012.