The Texas International Produce Association named five produce industry leaders to its Hall of Fame this week.
The TIPA Hall of Fame has been a “proud tradition since 1988, recognizing people who have made exceptional contributions to the industry,” said TIPA president and CEO Bret Erickson.
Among those recognized were Bill Burns (posthumously) of Lamar Farms, McAllen; Wallace Martin of Dixondale Farms, Carrizo Springs; Fred Karle of Karle Farms, McAllen; and Eddy Carnes of Winter Garden Produce, Uvalde.
In addition, John Fasano of JR Produce Supply, Edinburg, was awarded the Scott Toothaker Award for his many years of commitment and service to Texas growers and shippers. The Toothaker award was established in 1989 to recognize those who are not directly involved in production agriculture, but who have made important contributions to the industry.
The Texas Produce Hall of Fame Committee accepts nominations throughout the year. Bob Peterson, formerly of C&V Supply, Mission, has served as Chairman of the committee since 2010. Other committee members include Frank Schuster, Val Verde Vegetable; Richard Walsh, Wonderful Citrus; Jim Steele (ret.), Frontera Produce; and Ray Prewett.
“It’s a privilege to be part of this industry and serve as chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee,” Peterson said. “It is truly an honor. There are so many deserving people.”
Erickson said more than 200 people attended the event at the McAllen Country Club. “We have hosted this event for nearly 30 years and to have a capacity crowd speaks volumes about our inductees’ accomplishments and the respect this industry has for their hard work.
Dante Galeazzi, immediate past chairman for TIPA and the evening’s master of ceremonies commented, “These individuals have blazed the trail to success for one of the state’s most important industries.”
A portion of proceeds from the event help support the William E. Weeks Agriculture Scholarship Fund to assist students pursuing degrees related to the industry. Erickson said, “The Hall of fame is great way to honor our past and present leaders while helping cultivate a future generation of agriculturalists.”
A biennial event, the next Texas Produce Hall of Fame is scheduled for the Spring of 2018.