EATON, Colo. — Wendy White, who worked for the Colorado Department of Agriculture for more than 20 years promoting local food and agricultural products through the award-winning Colorado Proud program, has been named the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) Robert Sakata 2020 Member of the Year. She will be recognized Feb. 18 during the second day of CFVGA’s 7th Annual Conference, which will be presented virtually.
Under White’s management, awareness of the Colorado Proud brand reached 80 percent familiarity among Colorado consumers, and membership grew from 65 members in 1999 to 3,000 in 2020.
In conjunction with public relations partner, Philosophy Communication, Colorado Proud’s summer tours were a fixture of the program’s promotional activities, and communities looked forward to seeing the Colorado Proud wrapped car arrive in town. White traveled across the state promoting local agricultural products, especially Colorado grown fruits and vegetables, through themed events such as Pop-up Picnics, The Faces of Colorado Agriculture and Follow Your Fruits and Vegetables Journey.
The Colorado Proud public relations campaigns received numerous Gold and Silver Pick Awards from the Public Relations Society of America-Colorado Chapter, including the Grand Gold Pick (best in show) for the Follow Your Fruits and Vegetables Journey.
White’s active engagement with CFVGA since the organization’s inception in 2014 helped strengthen the positive message of Colorado produce with consumers. She helped get the word out about the new organization, assisted with news media communication and also served as an active member of the CFVGA conference planning committee for seven years.
“The 2020 Member of the Year selection committee’s decision was unanimous,” said CFVGA President Robert Sakata, the first recipient and after whom the award is named. “Wendy has been a faithful partner in promoting Colorado produce growers throughout this state. She also was a hard-working conference committee member, who contributed her time and talent to enable CFVGA to host quality annual conferences.”
White is the fourth honoree of this award. The 2017 recipient was Sakata, Sakata Farms and founding president of CFVGA. The 2018 recipient was Dr. Michael Bartolo, director of the Colorado State University Arkansas Valley Research Center. The 2019 recipient was Adrian Card, founding CFVGA board member and Boulder County Extension agent.
CFVGA is encouraging anyone with an interest in the Colorado produce industry to learn more and register for the conference: https://pheedloop.com/
–Colorado Fruit And Vegetable Growers Association
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