California Strawberry Commission Congratulates Former Board Chair for Special Honor

ESCONDIDO CA– Former California Strawberry Commission Chairman and longtime Board member, Neil Nagata was honored as the San Diego County Farm Bureau Farmer of the Year.

Nagata has over 30 years’ experience in fresh fruit, vegetable, and strawberry substrate/hydroponic production and research.  In addition to his growing experience, Nagata is an expert in many aspects of agriculture and biological science, including field and commercial research and production.  Nagata is an invaluable asset to the farming community through his negotiations with governments, regulators, and businesses, including leading the first shipment of strawberries in the world to be allowed entry to China.

Nagata has also played a major role in farm worker advocacy, serving as the founding president of the non-profit California Strawberry Growers Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships for children of California strawberry farm workers. During the past 26 years, over $2 million has been raised and gifted to farm worker’s children.   

“Neil has been a vital member of the California strawberry industry for more than three decades whether it’s leading in market access, research, or community service.  Neil is currently the longest, continuous serving Board member and has served with honor and integrity,” said Rick Tomlinson, California Strawberry Commission President.

The San Diego County Farm Bureau is a non-profit organization supporting the more than 5,700 farms within the county. Ranking 12th in the nation, San Diego boasts top crops in cut flowers, nursery, avocados, tomatoes, citrus, poultry, mushrooms, and strawberries.

Enclosed with this release is a photo of Strawberry Commission President Rick Tomlinson, Neil Nagata, and California Treasurer Fiona Ma.


About California Strawberry Commission

The California Strawberry Commission is more than 300 strawberry farmers, shippers, and processors, all working together to advance strawberry farming for the future of our land and people. Commission programs create opportunities for success through groundbreaking programs focused on workforce training, strawberry production research, and nutrition research. Through sciencebased information and education, it delivers the good news about sustainable farming practices that benefit the health of people, farms, and communities.