Texas produce industry leaders inducted into Hall of Fame

Nearly 260 produce industry leaders attended the 2018 Texas Produce Hall of Fame Ceremony on Monday evening, January 29th, at the McAllen Country Club in McAllen, Texas. Organized by the Texas International Produce Association, the Hall of Fame has been a proud tradition since 1988. For 30 years, the event has recognized industry leaders who have made exceptional contributions, crucial to the long term success of the trade.

Seven industry veterans were honored for their longstanding contributions to the produce industry throughout Texas. Among those recognized were: Jud Flowers of Lone Star Citrus Growers, Edinburg, Texas; Mark Fryer of Orchard Service and Nursery LTD, Edinburg, Texas; Joe Metz of Metz & Kappler Grove Service, McAllen, Texas; Bill and Christine Morley of Rio Fresh, San Juan, Texas; Jeanette Schuster of Rio Fresh, San Juan, Texas; and Fred Schuster of Schuster Farms, San Juan, Texas.

The 2018 Hall of Fame group

In addition to the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Mary McKeever of TexaSweet Citrus Marketing, Mission, Texas and Hugh Topper of H-E-B, San Antonio, Texas, were awarded the Scott Toothaker Award for their many years of commitment and service to the industry. The Scott Toothaker Award was established in 1989 to recognize those who are not directly involved in production agriculture, but who have made important contributions to the industry’s success.

The Texas Produce Hall of Fame Committee accepts and reviews nominations throughout the year. Bob Peterson, formerly of C&V Supply, Mission, TX, has served as Chairman of the committee since 2010. Mr. Peterson said “It’s a privilege to be part of this industry and serving as Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee is truly an honor. Our biggest challenge as a committee is finalizing a list of honorees when there are so many deserving people.”

Dante Galeazzi, President & CEO of the Texas International Produce Association commented, “We have been hosting this event for three decades now. To have standing room only speaks volumes about our inductee’s accomplishments and the tremendous amount of respect this industry has for their hard work. Our honorees deserve this recognition and so much more; they blazed the trail that led to the success this industry enjoys today.”

The Hall of Fame is considered one of the most treasured events of the Texas International Produce Association. The goals are two-fold: to pay tribute to those who have laid the foundation for Texas produce, and to encourage and infuse new talent into the industry going forward. As such, a portion of the evening’s proceeds goes towards the William E. Weeks Agriculture Scholarship Fund which supports students wishing to pursue a degree related to the fresh produce industry.

In what has traditionally been a biennial event, the next Texas Produce Hall of Fame is tentatively scheduled for the Winter of 2020.

For more information:
Dante Galeazzi
Texas International Produce Association
+1 (956) 581-8632

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