Mar 27, 2023
Western Growers to honor John D’Arrigo

Western Growers is recognizing John D’Arrigo’s contributions to agriculture with its 2023 Award of Honor.

D’Arrigo is CEO, president and chairman of the board of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, a vertically integrated grower, packer and shipper of fresh fruits and vegetables in California, Arizona and Mexico. A third-generation farmer, he began his farming career cutting and packing lettuce, loading celery and planting fields in the Salinas Valley during the 1970s.

John D’Arrigo

Under his leadership, D’Arrigo Bros. became pioneers in developing automated robotic harvesting equipment and drip irrigation systems. In addition, the company is the largest, privately owned, net energy metered solar powered operator in Monterey County and recipient of the prestigious Clean Air Leader Climate Change Advocate Award from the Monterey Bay Air Resources District.

“Some say that maintaining a family legacy is both a blessing and a curse, but in his years at the helm of D’Arrigo Bros., John D’Arrigo has opted not only to count his blessings but to also build upon them,” Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said in a news release. “His pioneering innovations as a grower, packer and shipper are only matched by his dedication to lifting up those around him through his extensive charitable endeavors and advocacy to improve the lives and business opportunities for everyone in agriculture.”

D’Arrigo served on the Western Growers board of directors for 28 years and as chair in 2004. In addition, he served on the Western Growers Assurance Trust Board of Directors from 1997-2022.

“John is widely admired for decades of support of his family, his company and his community,” Puglia said in the release. “No less important to him and to our industry is John’s long and deeply engaged service on both the Western Growers board of directors and Western Growers Assurance Trust board of trustees. John D’Arrigo is among the most impactful leaders in our industry and is a natural selection to receive Western Growers’ highest honor at our annual meeting in November.”

D’Arrigo was an inaugural appointee by the California secretary of agriculture to the board of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. He is a founding member and on the advisory council of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, an innovative public-private partnership with The University of Arizona to improve all aspects of desert crop production.

He has been a supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation; D’Arrigo California has donated more than $2 million to fund more than 42,000 hours of breast cancer research. In 2010, he founded The Agricultural Leadership Council, known as TALC, which is dedicated to changing and saving lives of agricultural workers and their families at Natividad Medical Center.

“Given my family’s three generations of involvement in Western Growers, this award is particularly meaningful for me,” D’Arrigo said in the release. “I am humbled and honored to be joining my father, Andy, and the many legendary award recipients who have come before me. Together, we have built an industry we can be proud to leave to the next generation.”

John and his wife Sandy have been married for 32 years; they have three sons: Christopher, Michael and Matthew.

D’Arrigo’s achievements will be celebrated at the Award of Honor Dinner Gala at the Western Growers 2023 Annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. The 2023 Annual Meeting will be from Nov. 12-15. For more information about registration or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Western Growers’ assistant vice president of membership, Kim Stuart, at [email protected].


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