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Cream of the Crop

Author: Highland Ag Solutions

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Highland Ag Solutions is changing the game in agriculture. Our aim is to empower farmers to plan ahead, market smart, care for the environment, and defend their worth like never before. Through this podcast you will hear fresh perspectives from familiar friends that cannot only impact your business, but your life. Join us to discover the heart behind Highland and what it means to be the Cream of the Crop.
33 Episodes
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August is National Peach Month and, in this episode, we talk about the importance of peaches in our food supply and economy. Carlyle Carr, daughter of Titan Farms owners, Chalmer and Lori Anne Carr chats with us about peach farming, the peach industry and what it looks for the future. From orchards to factories, restaurants, bakeries and retail supermarkets…Americans have a passion for peaches. 
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd sat down with CEO, Steve Maxwell for Part Two of America’s Sheriff on the Cream of the Crop. Sheriff Judd covers issues from social media to keeping our children safe from predators.
What better way to kick off Season 3 than with America's Sheriff! Our own Polk County Sheriff, Grady Judd visited the HAS Media Studio and chatted with our CEO, Steve Maxwell. From working with Polk’s large agriculture footprint, to the George Floyd incident, Sheriff Judd is honest and open. Listen to Part One now.
She’s a mother, farmer, Executive Director and a force to be reckoned with in the blueberry industry. Brittany Lee, Vice President and Farm Manager of Florida Blue Farms, talks with us about her very full but rewarding schedule of being the Executive Director of the Florida Blueberry Growers Association. This first-generation farmer shares her knowledge about machine harvesting and pushing the limits in her operation towards technology. 
GO ROYALS! Leigh Ann Wynn, Assistant Vice President of Advancement and Abby Crawford, Coordinator of Advancement and Ag Programming at Warner University discuss the agriculture program. From extracurricular activities to internship opportunities, Leigh Ann and Abby walk us through how WU helps students achieve their goals.
Sue Harrell, Director of Marketing, and Tiffany Dale, Director of Member Services and Community Relations for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association chat about the mission the FSGA has for their growers. From their marketing strategies to reach the consumer, to helping growers and the community. Plus, we get some great tips on strawberries!
Host Justin Machell, our VP of Business Development and Analytics chats with Walt Shappley, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience on how growers can make big changes in 2020. From the technology of Highland FS365 and changing your food safety program to explaining our Data Covenant, which protects your data. These two don't miss a beat. This episode is jam-packed with useful information! 
With $200 in her bank account and a huge leap of faith, Michelle Martin left her job to start The Ag Mag, a print and digital magazine dedicated to farmers and ranchers in the Rio Grande. But Michelle didn’t stop there. Michelle started Farmer Who, a program which allows the consumer to quickly access information with their phone by the Farmer Who label on packaging. She is also the owner and host of Ag on Wheels available on RFD TV, YouTube, social media and her local ABC channel.
Artha Jonassaint takes us through her years in FFA, what it was like to take a gap year to be the state president, to now being a sophomore at Harvard College. She discusses her passion for advocating for agriculture in a more urban environment such as college and what she hopes to see for agriculture in the future. 
Dennis Ross served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2019. After he retired from Congress, he returned to his hometown of Lakeland, FL where he joined Southeastern University as a distinguished professor of political science to launch the American Center for Political Leadership (ACPL). The ACPL is a center for key research activities, academic programs, courses, workshops and resources geared towards preparing our next generation of political leaders. Dennis is a lawyer who has served as in-house counsel with Walt Disney World as well as his own firm in Lakeland. 
Bud Chiles, son of late Governor Lawton Chiles, describes how he turned his passion to help the decline of the American family farm into an organization of farmers and consumers called American Grown Inc. Currently, Bud serves as its National Director, and is joined by Kalan Royal who works alongside him. Together they are uniting U.S. growers and farmers and helping them use their voice to demand American grown produce.
Jamie Viramontes chats with Bristol Wells about growing crops in the Southwest, her absolute love for farming and what she is learning by working alongside husband Cole. Jamie explains why keeping your faith and staying positive helps cope with the highs and lows of farming while being a working mom and wife.
Chelsea Consalo is the Vice President of Produce Operations for Consalo Family Farms. We talk with Chelsea about working in the family business, from starting as their food safety coordinator to her present-day role as the VP of Operations. We learn about why Chelsea has such a passion for agriculture and why she is so excited about the Produce Marketing Association’s Emerging Leaders Program.
From her farm family, to getting into trouble for hauling hay at 9, Kameron discusses it all. Kameron Harwell of Grimmway Farms chats with host, Bristol Wells on farming, family and working your way through a tough but rewarding industry.
Elizabeth "Beth" McQuaig-McIntyre of Anna’s Garden, 66, is a retired English teacher who became a blueberry farmer later in life. Although much of her life was spent teaching and raising her three sons, this leg of the journey at Anna’s Garden and Mallard Point Packing is proving to be a wonderful challenge. Beth describes her start into the blueberry industry, tells us how she deals with it all, and has some wise words for women in her industry. She remains involved in her community of Fitzgerald, Georgia through Fellowship Baptist Church, Ben Hill County School System, Cancer Coalition, Christian Kitchen, and any other place that needs her help.
Stella Farms provides watermelons and pineapples to the retail, food service, and processing industries year-round with the goal of bringing customers superior produce grown with responsible and sustainable practices. Mike Martori, VP of Sales discusses the challenges facing the industry during the pandemic and how they are finding ways to work through it. Meagan Morgan, handles food safety operations and discusses the recent changes in their program.
In 1909 Joseph L Bushman started Bushmans’ Inc. and today it is the longest continuing potato growing operation in Wisconsin. The company grows and ships more than 10 million pounds of potatoes a year that go to grocers, retailers, and food service industries. Mike Carter, CEO surprises us with facts about America's favorite vegetable.
Wish Farms is an international grower, shipper and marketer based in Plant City, Florida. With the 4th generation fully involved in day-to-day operations, Wish Farms is a proud multi-generational family business. JC Clinard, Chief Operating Officer, explains how his company always has our favorite berries readily available. From U.S. grown to imports, he discuss the process of getting the produce we’re used to buying at our convenience, from farm to table. 
Tara Steward of Primus Auditing Ops, discusses the recent breakthrough in food safety and farm audits. Primus has introduced desktop documentation review by approved software companies. Documents must be in an organized fashion for auditors to review prior to the on-site visit. This episode answers some basic questions for growers and agricultural business owners who want to make the transition from traditional to digital.
Tony DiMare, 3rd generation owner of DiMare Fresh, talks about NAFTA and the newly implemented US-MCA. This episode sheds some light on how NAFTA and the effect it had on Florida tomato growers, and how the new US-MCA has made changes to create a more equal playing field. 
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