Michael Kelley, a well-known figure in the Western cotton industry, has moved to the almond side of the California crop mix.
Kelley, former director of Western Field Services for the Cotton Board, is now the president and CEO of Central California Almond Growers Association, the largest almond huller and sheller in the world.
Central California Almond Growers has a processing facility and office in Sanger, Calif., and a second processor located south of Kerman, Calif. The association operates as a cooperative and currently has 403 members who deliver the production from more than 50,000 acres to the company's facilities during the summer months.
Kelly was raised in California's Imperial Valley. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Southern California. He began his career farming cotton, wheat and bermudagrass in the Calipatria area of Imperial County. He worked for Producers Cotton Oil Co. as a gin manager in both California and Arizona. He served as director of cereal grain programs for Farmers Marketing Corp.. He was with the Cotton Board for nine years before taking his new position.