Fresno, California – The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), at their Board of Directors meeting held in Sacramento, announced a change in leadership for the Association with the simultaneous departure of the current president, Barry Bedwell, and the hiring of its new president, former eight term U.S. Congressman George Radanovich.
Bedwell has been president of CFFA since 2003 and is transitioning from the organization to serve as president of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF). CALF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation committed to leadership training and transformational learning experiences in partnership with four California universities: Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; Cal Poly, Pomona; California State University, Fresno; and the University of California, Davis. The foundation supports the longest continuously-operating leadership training experience of its kind in the United States – the California Agricultural Leadership Program – which is widely considered to be the premier program, in its niche, in the world.
Radanovich, a graduate of Class 21 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program, served in Congress from 1995 to 2011 representing California’s 19th district. While in the House of
Representatives, he served as Water Caucus co-chair, Wine Caucus co-chair and as co-chair for the Congressional Croatian Caucus as well as being considered an agricultural expert in areas related to water supply and immigration reform. He is a native Californian, born and raised in Mariposa, and was educated at California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Radanovich is also a farmer who began growing premium wine grapes in Mariposa County in 1982, after observing a micro climate in the area suitable for their growth. He was a member of the Mariposa County board of supervisors from 1988 to 1992, serving as chairman in 1991.
The Chairman of the Board for CFFA, Harold McClarty of HMC Farms in Kingsburg, stated, “While we hate to see Barry go, we are certainly understanding of his passion and motivation to train effective agricultural leaders and we are truly appreciative of his leadership for these past thirteen years. In addition, we are very pleased and feel fortunate that George has agreed to become part of the team at CFFA. George’s background both as a farmer and Congressman should insure real leadership value for the membership as well as his timely appointment as president should mean a seamless and effectual transition.”
Outgoing CFFA President Bedwell added, “Working for the members of the California Fresh Fruit Association, as well as all of California agriculture, has been the most rewarding and, considering the multitude of issues facing growers and shippers, challenging experience of my career. Leaving CFFA is
extremely difficult but I feel I can now take what I have learned to further enhance a premier leadership development program that I believe will be imperative to the successful future of California agriculture.”
Incoming President Radanovich stated. “During my time in and out of office, I have had the benefit of knowing Barry and the work of CFFA for many years. I look forward to this opportunity to become reengaged with agriculture in the representation of our members and the chance to work in conjunction with other public policy organizations and their leadership for the benefit of production agriculture in
California. I am truly excited about the prospects as well as challenges that lie ahead.”
The effective date for the transition is currently scheduled for August 1, 2016. For further information, please contact Ian LeMay, Director of Member Relations and Communication.
The California Fresh Fruit Association is a voluntary public policy association that represents growers, packers, and shippers of California table grape, blueberry, kiwi, pomegranate and deciduous tree fruit communities. CFFA serves as a public policy representative for these growers, shippers and packers, on issues at both the state and federal levels. More information about the California Fresh Fruit Association can be found at www.cafreshfruit.org.