Sep 7, 2017
Brown to retire from Florida Tomato Committee

After more than 15 years as the manager of the Florida Tomato Committee – and the face of Florida’s tomato industry – Reggie Brown has announced his retirement.

Reggie Brown

“I’m a crazy gardener, and I’ve got a 5-acre yard and lots of land I can garden,” Brown told  the Naples Daily News. “I’m going to mow grass, pull weeds and short out my cellphone.”

Brown will turn 69 later this year, and he’ll be 70 before he retires in early 2018. He said it’s time to slow down and enjoy his retirement home, purchased about four years ago in the community of Rochelle, near Gainesville.

The Naples Daily News reported:

Brown officially announced his retirement (Sept. 9) at the 41st annual Joint Tomato Conference, which is being held at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The industry event is sponsored by the the Florida Tomato Committee, a tomato marketer and regulator, and the Florida Tomato Exchange, a lobbying group.

In his role, Brown wears many hats. He also serves as executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Exchange, running the day-to-day operations, and holds the same title with the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a powerful industry group with limited antitrust protection.

When he was tapped for the job in 1999, Brown said he was like an “old dog” who’d been around the industry a long time. “I have been around this deal now for close to 40 years,” he said.

Brown was an agricultural Extension director in Collier County during the early and mid-1980s. Before that he worked as a multi-county vegetable agent with the Extension service in central Florida.”

For more on the story, visit the Naples Daily News website.

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