Just as citrus orchards are alive with harvest activity, the board of directors at Farmer Bob’s World in Ivanhoe has also been busy planning for the future of the non-profit agricultural education organization.
At its annual meeting in November, the board named Eddie Valero president. Valero, an Orosi resident, was also recently re-elected as District 4 Tulare County Supervisor. Valero succeeds Gary Caviglia, an Ivanhoe grower who served two terms and shepherded the fledgling organization through its infancy and the pandemic.
Recognizing the momentum Farmer Bob’s World has built over the past four years, Valero said he is committed to growing and strengthening the organization during his presidency, maintaining its steadfast mission of agricultural education at the operating citrus farm.
“I believe in this organization, its mission and vision to help serve our youth and families,” Valero said, whose father labored as a farmworker for more than 30 years. “I know how critical the citrus industry is to the Central Valley and the entire world. I also believe Farmer Bob’s World has the passion to educate, inspire and raise the next generation of farmers in the region.”
Valero detailed his goals, which include increasing financial capacity, engaging more partners in the vision and mission of the organization, creating a membership drive and adding a few more board members.
Founder Bob McKellar said he is looking forward to Valero’s tenure as president.
“Eddie is an enthusiastic and talented, creative person,” he said. “Under his leadership, we expect the board to develop an enthusiastic and effective plan to bring Farmer Bob’s World to maturity.”
That includes executing a recently adopted five-year plan to take Farmer Bob’s World into the status as a major destination for the area. While visitors from all over the world come to Farmer Bob’s, the board also wants to make sure the local community participates in the learning opportunities available, too.
Additional aspects of the five-year plan are: launching an appeal to the 63 area citrus packing houses and the 2,000-plus citrus growers to become individual sponsors; creation of a Citrus Festival starting with a 5K race on April 1, 2023, followed by a four-day festival. Also scheduled for 2023 is the annual Tree to Table dinner on Friday, May 5.
Valero will serve two years with an opportunity to continue in the position at the pleasure of the board.