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Sacramento, CA – July 5, 2016 – The California Dried Plum Board, whose mission is to unite growers and handlers in supporting the vitality of the California prune industry, today announced the election of new officers to the Board and the Prune Marketing Committee.

Joe Turkovich is the new Chairman-elect of the Board responsible for presiding at all meetings and providing general supervision of the affairs of the Board.  “To be selected to lead the Board is quite an honor,” said Turkovich.  “I’m inspired by the Board’s strategic focus on the nutritional value of prunes, improving efficiencies through production research, and unifying a prune industry that’s facing many challenges. 

Joe Turkovich is a sole proprietor fruit and nut farmer from Davis, CA.  The family-owned farms, located in Winters, CA, consist of prunes, walnuts, and wheat.  Mr. Turkovich has a Bachelor of Science in Ag Business Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Sunsweet Growers, Inc. and chairs the California Dried Plum Board’s Production Research Subcommittee which oversees projects designed to provide growers with better ways to produce highquality prunes, enhance profitability and conserve resources.  Past business and leadership posts include being a California Ag Leadership Fellow, Board Chairman of Sunsweet Dryers Cooperative, President of the Kiwifruit Growers of California, and Board Member of the Yolo County Farm Bureau. 

Ranvir Singh has been elected Vice-Chairman of the California Dried Plum Board and Chairman of the Prune Marketing Committee.  Mr. Singh, having just completed two consecutive terms as Chairman of the Board, helped lead the Board during a renaissance in nutrition research and development of marketing strategies to promote prune products as ingredients.  He is a Sutter County prune, walnut and almond grower and is the President of the Prune Bargaining Association.  “I am proud to be serving as both Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Prune Marketing Committee,” says Mr. Singh.  “The staff and the Board work tirelessly to deliver programs that focus on expanding the visibility of the wonders of California prunes with consumers and key influencers.”

“We have strong leadership in place and we couldn’t be more pleased with these appointments.  Each have deep experience and commitment to our industry and programs,” says Donn Zea, Executive Director of the California Dried Plum Board and Prune Marketing Committee.

In addition to the above, the California Dried Plum Board elected Dan Bozzo as Secretary and Bob Kolberg as Treasurer.  The Prune Marketing Committee elected George Sousa, Jr., Secretary and other appointments are pending the December Committee meeting.

About the California Dried Plum Board (CDPB) and the Prune Marketing Committee (PMC):  The CDPB and PMC represent 800 prune growers and 29 prune handlers and processors under the authority of the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture and the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture, respectively. Revered as part of California’s rich history, the prune remains a vital player in California’s economic wealth. California growers produced approximately 99 percent of the United States’ and 40 percent of the world’s supply of prune and prune products.  California prunes are The Whole Package:  a naturally sweet, convenient and nutrient-dense snack and versatile culinary ingredient. 

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