Who We Are

Meet our 13 Member Board of Directors for 2015-2016

 

Board of Directors

President

Scott Klittich, Otto & Son's Nursery

Scott Klittich and his wife, Cindy, are the owners of "Otto & Sons Nursery" in Fillmore, where they specialize in growing container roses and fruit trees for retail garden centers throughout Southern California. Scott received his bachelor's degree in ornamental horticulture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He has worked at Otto & Sons for more than 25 years and is currently general manager. He serves on the State Board of Directors for the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, and has been on the local board for many years. Scott is the Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 406 in Fillmore. He is active in Bardsdale 4-H as a project leader for farm machinery and beef, and he led the swine project for eight years. Scott has been on the Ag Advisory Committee for the Fillmore High School farm for 20 years. He and his wife have three children.

1st Vice President

Danny Pereira, Rio Farms

Danny Pereira is general manager of Rio Farms, where he has worked since 1988. He is a 1988 graduate of California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, with a bachelor's degree in crop science and a minor in plant protection. He has been a member of the Celery Research Advisory Board since 1992, and is currently serving as board vice chairman and chairman of the Research Committee. He is an alternate member of the California Pepper Commission, and served on the Board of Directors of the Ventura County Agricultural Association from 2001 to 2004, serving as chairman for 2003-2004. He represents Farm Bureau on the board of the Association of Water Agencies of Ventura County, and is a member of the Ventura County Spray Safe Committee.

2nd Vice President

William Terry, Terry Farms, Inc.

William Terry is a fifth-generation Ventura County farmer who works as chief operating officer of Terry Farms, Inc. Terry Farms specializes in row-crop production, growing various fruits and vegetables on about 1,800 acres. William is on the boards of the California Pepper Commission and the University of California Hansen Fund. He is a past chairman of the Ventura County Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee, serving in that capacity as an advisory member of the Farm Bureau Board of Directors from 2010 to 2013. William received a business degree from Loyola Marymount University in 2008.

Secretary

Katie Brokaw, Brokaw Nursery

Katie Brokaw recently assumed the role of intellectual property manager for Brokaw Nursery. Before this, she worked for 20 years in the Agricultural Industries Department of Wells Fargo Bank evaluating the business risk profile of borrowers involved in tomato and fruit processing, citrus and nut handling, nursery operations, and produce and meat distribution. Before joining Wells Fargo in 1994, she worked in the economic forecasting and marketing department of Cryovac, a major food packaging company. Previously, she was an agricultural policy analyst for Economic Perspectives Inc., a consulting firm in Washington, D.C.. She has a master's degree in agricultural economics from UC Davis and a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University. She is a graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Program (Class 27) and is former member of the Ventura County Ag Futures Alliance.

Treasurer

Ted Grether, Grether Farming company

Ted Grether is the fourth generation of a family that has been farming in the Las Posas Valley for more than 100 years. After high school at The Thacher School, he attended Pepperdine University, graduating with both a bachelor of science in international relations and a bachelor of arts in Spanish. He currently works for the family farming business, Grether Farming Company, growing lemons, avocados and mandarins as an operations manager and administrator. He has served as a director for Oxnard Pest Control Association since 2013, a director for Farm Bureau of Ventura County since 2014, and has been a guest speaker for the Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group and the University of California Cooperative Extension on irrigation technology and practices. He lives in Somis.

Director

Brian Benchwick

Brian is manager of Tri-Tech Ag Products, Inc., a pesticide application company serving Ventura County vegetable and strawberry growers. He grew up in Camarillo, and attended Moorpark College before earning a bachelor’s degree in agronomy at Cal Poly Pomona. After graduation he went to work as a licensed pest control advisor for Carr Fertilizer, and later worked for Hiji Brothers, where he advised on a variety of vegetable crops and also worked as human resources manager. He has a master’s degree in business administration from California Lutheran University, and is a licensed pest-control advisor and qualified applicator. He is chairman of the Ventura County Spray Safe Committee. He and his wife, Babette, have five children and one grandson.

Director

David Borchard

David Borchard has been a Farm Bureau board member since 2000, having previously served as treasurer, and is the agricultural representative on the board of the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency. He is a graduate of California Farm Bureau Federation's leadership development program. He serves on the Ventura Pacific Company Board of Directors and the Ventura County ACP-HLB Task Force, and is a past director of Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Co. Raised in Oxnard and Somis, he is a member of a six-generation Ventura County farming family, producing lemons and avocados. He's a 1986 graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Communication Arts and is a past president of the Mesa Education Foundation, a non-profit group that raises funds to support the arts, music, technology and science at Mesa Union School. He lives in Somis with his wife and two children.

Director

Chris Garmon, Garmon Ranch

Santa Paula native and fourth-generation farmer Chris Garmon was raised on his family's 80-acre ranch, raising ornamental pumpkins, barley, sudan grass and safflower. Chris grew up in the 4-H and FFA organizations, which led him to his current position as Exhibits Representative and Large Livestock Superintendent at the Ventura County Fair. He oversees the Junior Livestock Show, which each year draws entries from more than 600 4-H, FFA and Grange members. Chris also is a member of the Santa Paula FFA Boosters and the UC Hansen Advisory Board. He represents Ventura and Santa Barbara counties on the Young Farmers & Ranchers State Committee, and is a member of Leadership Farm Bureau's Class of 2013.

Director

Phil McGrath, McGrath Family Farms

Phil McGrath is a fourth-generation family farmer in Oxnard, growing mainly row crops and some lemons. His McGrath Family Farms delivers its products directly to restaurants, operates a Community Supported Agriculture program and a roadside market, and sells its fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops at seven farmers markets each week throughout the region. Phil has served on the boards of many agricultural, marketing andcommunity organizations, including the California Farmers Market Advisory Board, the Ag Futures Alliance, the Sustainable Ag Working Group and the Southland Farmers Market Association board.

Director

Ed McFadden, Rancho Simpatica

Ed was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1999. He grows citrus and avocados for Rancho Simpatica, a company he manages, and McFadden Ranch, a family-owned farm. He was raised on a family orange and avocado grove in Orange County and moved his family to Ventura County in 1992. Ed and his wife Viki have two children; a daughter who graduated from Pomona College in 2006, and a son who graduated from Stanford in 2011. Both Viki and Ed are graduates of Pomona College. Ed is a member of Class 25 of the California Agricultural Leadership program, serves on several local boards, and is past chairman of the California Avocado Commission.

Director

Chris Sayer, Petty Ranch

Chris Sayer joined the Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 2008. He is a fifth-generation Ventura County farmer. Earlier in his career, Chris served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and qualified as an aircraft commander in P3C patrol aircraft. He subsequently worked in Silicon Valley for several years, before returning to Ventura County and purchasing a 23-acre avocado ranch east of Santa Paula, where he now lives with his wife, Melissa. Chris is the manager of Petty Ranch, his family's citrus, avocado and fig operation in Saticoy. He serves on the boards of Associates Insectary and Citrus Mutual Water Company.

Director

David Schwabauer, Leavens Ranches

David was elected to the Farm Bureau board in 1987 and has served as the organization's treasurer, secretary, second vice president and first vice president. He served as president in 2003-2005, and currently serves as district director, representing Region 4 (Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) on the California Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors. David is a managing partner of Leavens Ranches, overseeing lemon and avocado operations in the Moorpark area.

Chief Executive Officer

John Krist, 5156 McGrath St., Ste. 102,  Ventura, CA 93003 Phone: 805-289-0155

John Krist is chief executive officer of Farm Bureau of Ventura County. As CEO, he is responsible for managing the nonprofit organization’s staff, daily operations and finances. He recommends policy to the organization’s Board of Directors, implements board directives, and represents the interests of the membership at legislative and regulatory hearings. He also serves as the organization’s liaison with the news media, as well as with numerous community organizations and groups.

Mr. Krist is a member of the board of directors of the Ventura County Economic Development Association; the Dean's Council for the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara; the advisory board for the Lacayo Institute for Workforce and Community Studies at Cal State Channel Islands; the UC Hansen Fund Advisory Board; the Steering Committee for the Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group; the Board of Directors of House Farm Workers!; the Museum of Ventura County’s Agriculture Museum Advisory Board; the Ventura County ACP-HLB Task Force; and the advisory board for the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University.

Before joining the Farm Bureau in February 2008, Mr. Krist worked as a reporter, editor and Opinion-page columnist at the Ventura County Star for more than 24 years. The winner of numerous writing awards and journalism fellowships, he is the author of three books about California’s parks and wilderness areas, as well as Voyage of Rediscovery, based on his experiences retracing the Lewis and Clark trail. He also has contributed to books on urban renewal and wildfire policy. His most recent book is Living Legacy: The Story of Ventura County Agriculture.

 


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