Barry Bedwell, president of the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), will leave the organization to lead the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF) effective Aug. 1, 2016.
CALF operates the California Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP), a premier leadership development program. Since CALP began in 1970, more than 1,300 men and women have participated in the program.
Bedwell is a CALP Class 13 alumnus.
As the foundation’s new prexy, Bedwell will direct and guide the leadership program which will launch its 47th class this fall.
“My focus and passion will be to take what I have learned at CFFA to further enhance a premier leadership development program that I believe is imperative to the successful future of California agriculture,” Bedwell said.
“I have had the opportunity to work with production agriculture to observe and participate firsthand in the multitude of challenges that confront California farmers,” he said. “I hope to use that knowledge to assist in developing even more effective leaders in the years ahead from this already very impressive program.”
Bedwell has led the fresh fruit group since 2003. Two years ago the organization changed its name from the California Grape and Tree Fruit League to the California Fresh Fruit Association.
The agricultural leader graduated from Fresno State with a degree in business administration in 1974.
Bedwell has a wide range of leadership experience under his belt, including the United Fresh Produce Association, California Association of Winegrape Growers, the Fresno State Bulldog Foundation, Alliance for Food and Farming, Agricultural President’s Council, and USDA’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Fruits and Vegetables.
CALF Board Chair Jeff Elder calls Bedwell “an excellent fit for the foundation as a proven leader in the agricultural industry. He brings immeasurable experience in agriculture and association management, strong leadership skills and a personal connection to Ag Leadership as a graduate and supporter.”
Bedwell will assume the CALF post from Bob Gray who is retiring after leading the foundation for seven years. Gray will remain onboard for several months as a consultant.
“Bob was instrumental in steering the foundation with vision, wisdom, business acumen, and patience,” Elder says. “He was a non-alumnus who cared about and believed in Ag Leadership and wanted it to succeed for future generations. He accomplished his goals and set a tone for excellence and positive transformation.”
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