Israel Morales has been promoted to executive director of sustainable operations for JV Smith Cos.
Morales previously was general manager of JV Farms Organic, Soledad, Calif. He’s been a farmer for more than 45 years, according to a news release, and more than 30 of those years has been in organic farming.
The Organic Trade Association has named him Organic Farmer of Year, and he’s scheduled to receive that honor in September.
His new role includes overseeing all sustainability practices at the JV Smith Cos., but he’ll also be a spokesperson, sharing knowledge with other produce industry companies.
“I believe that sharing what I’ve learned with the industry, with schools, with future generations is not only my honor, but my responsibility,” Morales said in the release. “The future generations need to be well informed about initiatives for food safety, crop rotation and production and responsible sustainability.”
Owner Vic Smith said Morales is a natural leader on sustainability issues.
“We couldn’t be prouder to share his vision and his experience to the industry as we all move forward collectively to make this a better place for future generations,” Smith said in the release.
JV Smith Cos. Includes JV Farms, Promotora Agricola El Toro, Southern Colorado Farms, Skyline Potato, JV Farms Organic, Skyview Cooling, Triangle Farms and Fresh Innovations, according to the release.
The Organic Trade Association recently named Israel Morales Sr. of JV Farms Organic its Organic Farmer of the Year.
Morales is JV Farms Organic’s lead grower with over 40 years of farming experience. JV Farms Organic in Soledad, California, is committed to growing organic crops in an innovative and eco-friendly manner. The company grows 16 different organic vegetable crops in addition to conventional crops, according to the company website.
Israel has extensive experience not just in knowing what produce matches the type of soil, but also other factors important to soil health, according to a press release from the Organic Trade Association. As ranch manager, he has direct influence on the growing practices on all of the acres in his operation. Described by peers as living and breathing organic farming, he has both an old-school mentality on how to grow organically while also a flare for innovation.
A successful large-scale organic farmer, he is known as an excellent steward of land, minimizing disturbance, maximizing soil cover, maximizing biodiversity, and maximizing the presence of living roots, according to the press release. His primary focus is soil health, habitat diversity and reducing or eliminating organic pesticide use if he can. He has developed an innovative farming system using conservation tilllage beds that allows him to use cover crops on 80 to 90 percent of his acreage during the winter fallow.
Three individuals received leadership awards from the Organic Trade Association. Other awardees include Lynn Coody of Organic Agsystems Consulting who won the Growing the Organic Community Award, and Nate Powell-Palm of Cold Spring Organics who won the Rising Star Award.
The Organic Trade Association’s Annual Organic Leadership Award was established in 1997. Awardees are nominated by their peers and chosen unanimously by the association’s Board of Directors.
“Each year we look forward to recognizing those within the organic sector who have led with valuable contributions to help grow and expand organic agriculture and the products it markets. It is exciting to recognize outstanding farmers, where it all starts, and others along the organic value chain who play an instrumental role to further organic,” said Laura Batcha, CEO and Executive Director of the Organic Trade Association.
The honorees will receive their leadership awards at a celebration dinner, September 11, at the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, MD, during Natural Products Expo East.
Salinas, CA – June 5, 2019 – Forbes today announced that Sonny Perdue, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, will headline the fifth-annual Forbes AgTech Summit from June 26-27, 2019. The event will convene the world’s biggest agricultural leaders, investors and entrepreneurs looking to find solutions for some of the world’s most critical food and agricultural challenges.
Other key speakers include Beth Ford, President & CEO, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; John Hartnett, Founder & CEO, SVG Partners and THRIVE AgTech; Tom Nassif, President & CEO, Western Growers Association; Ertharin Cousin, Former Ambassador to the UN World Food Programme & Distinguished Fellow at the Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University and Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of Forbes.
Held on historic Main Street Salinas – where the Silicon and Salinas Valleys meet – the Summit will cultivate authentic conversations, foster lively debates and create rich networking opportunities. Attendees will hear from preeminent industry leaders who are disrupting the food and agricultural industries and finding new and innovative solutions to the growing challenges caused by the industry’s rapid transformation. In addition, participants will also have the opportunity to experience first-hand technology innovations that are revolutionizing the global agricultural ecosystem.
The University of Arizona will award two honorary degrees during the 155th Commencement on May 10. UA colleges, departments and programs nominate individuals for honorary degrees, which recognize distinguished contributions to the university, state, nation or world at large.
Margarethe Cooper, an assistant professor of practice in animal and comparative biomedical sciences, is the inaugural holder of the Victor P. Smith Endowed Chair in Food Safety Education.
WASHINGTON, DC - Our industry is changing not just in its products and technologies, but in the people that continue to help move it forward. As the fresh produce business continues to evaluate how it can better move into the future, there is a key place that often remains almost the same as it always has been—the field.
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YUMA, ARIZONA- Inspiring and encouraging team members to pursue lifelong learning and furthering education is part of the corporate culture at JV Smith Companies, based in Yuma, Arizona. This might also be a common mission of many of the most influential leaders in today’s corporate world, but at JV Smith, a family owned business, they back it up with impressive numbers.