CASTROVILLE, Calif. – Sept 7, 2016 – Chris Drew, vice president of operations at Ocean Mist Farms, has been accepted into Class 47 of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP).

The Ag Leadership Program, operated by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF), is one of the premier leadership development experiences in the United States. More than 1,200 men and women have participated in the program and are influential leaders and active volunteers in agriculture, communities, government, business and other areas. Applicants must be growers, farmers, ranchers or individuals working in allied businesses and organizations who are emerging or mid-career leaders in agriculture.

The 17-month program, from October 2016 to February 2018, includes 56 days of formal program activities. Four partner universities—Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Fresno State and UC Davis—deliver comprehensive, diverse and high-impact curriculum designed to improve leadership skills. In addition to monthly seminars, fellows participate in an eight-day national travel seminar and a 15-day international travel seminar as valuable extensions to their studies.

CALF invests approximately $50,000 per fellow to participate in the Ag Leadership Program. The costs are underwritten by individual and industry donations.

Drew has been with Ocean Mist Farms since 2004, his duties include directing activities associated with the post-harvest of Ocean Mist Farms products; managing the cooling and shipping facilities; overseeing food safety and quality assurance, sustainability and value-added operations; and directing new product and service innovation.

“We are excited to see Chris participate in the Cal Ag Leadership Program,” said Joe Pezzini, company CEO.  “He has a team approach to solving complex problems; has leadership and intellectual acumen and he is a product expert.  We are thrilled that he will bring this additional training and perspective to senior management.”

Drew holds a bachelor of science degree in crop science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and an MBA. He has more than 16 years of experience in nursery crops and vegetable production. He lives in Hollister, Calif., with his wife and two daughters.


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