WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Fresh Produce Association will present its 2016 FreshTech Achievement Award to David Offerdahl, Director of Ag Engineering, at Taylor Farms for his outstanding technical achievements to advance the fresh produce industry.
David was nominated by Taylor Farms and several of its grower partners, and was selected from among a number of outstanding nominations this year. David has worked in agriculture for over 20 years, improving technology to automate the harvest and post-harvest process critical to fresh vegetables. His contributions to agricultural engineering have made a significant impact on the produce industry from the standpoints of both efficiency and labor conditions. He has made it his life’s work to change how harvesting is done, and as a result has designed hundreds of harvesters that are now in use around the world. His mechanical harvester designs reduce crews from 30 to as few as eight, a critical goal with decreasing labor availability. But, his designs also enhance working conditions by placing workers into an ergonomic upright position in a shaded work environment. David’s nomination listed many of his equipment designs including:
* The first food safe Stainless Steel Harvesting aid
* The first all Stainless Steel Spinach/Spring Mix Mechanical Harvester
* Designed and patented a technique to use high pressure water in the field to harvest.
* Co-designed the first foreign object sorter on a Spinach harvester
* Co-designed the first mechanical Green Leaf/Romaine Harvester
* Co-designed a high pressure water cutting mechanical harvester for Taylor Farms
* Co-developed Taylor Farms’ first mechanical Celery harvester
* Co- developed Taylor Farms’ first mechanical Cabbage harvester
“David’s contributions to the technology of harvesting have advanced the industry significantly,” said United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel. “His solutions take into account all factors of the harvesting process giving thought to the technology cost benefits, efficiencies, product quality and human experience in the field. We’re proud to honor David with this FreshTech Achievement Award.”
David will be recognized with the 2016 FreshTech Achievement Award on Wednesday, June 22 at the Breakfast General Session taking place at the United Fresh 2016 Convention and Expo in Chicago. Tickets for the breakfast are included in the All Access and Produce Convention Packages or can be purchased a la carte for $100.
Co-located with FMI Connect, the International Floriculture Expo, and the new Global Cold Chain Expo, United Fresh 2016 will bring together retail, fresh produce, floral and cold chain logistics leaders who are searching for unique products and looking to enhance relationships with valuable business partners. Registration is available at www.unitedfreshshow.org.
About United Fresh Produce Association
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. Through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption.
Source: United Fresh Produce Association