The Organic Grower Summit presented by Western Growers and OPN honored long-time organic grower Jeff Huckaby as the recipient of the fifth annual Grower of the Year award. Huckaby, President and CEO of Grimmway Farms, was selected based on his ongoing commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation.
The Grower of the Year award was presented to Huckaby as part of the keynote presentation at the Organic Grower Summit on November 30–December 1 in Monterey, CA. The Grower of the Year presentation is part of an extensive educational program designed to inform and engage organic producers and their service providers and supply chain partners.
“We are honored to present the annual Grower of the Year award to Jeff. His decades-long work exemplifies what hardworking, passionate organic farming is all about. Over the past three decades, Jeff has worked tirelessly to encourage water conservation, natural methods for pest control, and always found ways to share information about those practices with other organic growers,” said Matt Seeley, co-founder and CEO of Organic Produce Network. “His dedication to the environment and community is what makes the organic sector special and makes him so deserving of the title of Grower of the Year.”
Huckaby is a fourth-generation farmer who has more than 30 years of farming management experience and deep roots in the produce industry. He joined Grimmway Farms in 1998 and managed their organic division. During his tenure, the program has grown from several hundred to 40,000 acres of certified organic ground. Before becoming President and CEO in 2016, he served as Executive Vice President and oversaw sales, production, engineering, and farming for all Grimmway Farms products. Jeff’s leadership has been integral in establishing Grimmway’s global organic business and lead position in the category.
The Grower of the Year award was presented to Huckaby by recognized organic leader and former President of Whole Foods Walter Robb. The two have known each other for many years, and Robb credits Huckaby’s stewardship work for elevating and enhancing Whole Foods’ commitment to organic fresh produce.
Previous winners of the award have been Vic Smith, CEO of JV Smith Company (2021); The Lundberg Family (2019); Thaddeus Barsotti of Capay Organic (2018); and Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms (2017).
About Organic Produce Network:
OPN is a marketing organization serving as the go-to resource for the organic fresh produce industry. The company’s mission is to inform and educate through a strong digital presence with an emphasis on original content and complemented by engaging live events that bring together various components of the organic food community. OPN’s audience includes organic producers, handlers, distributors, processors, wholesalers, foodservice operators, and retailers.