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Pastor replaces Grizzle as head of Farm Bureau

October 02, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL, Staff Writer

Steve Pastor started Monday as the new executive director of the Imperial County Farm Bureau and Vegetable Growers Association.

He replaces Lauren Grizzle, who left the job to move with her family to San Diego County. Grizzle will stay on with the Farm Bureau and growers association as a consultant during the transition.

Pastor, 51, is a third-generation farmer who was active with the Farm Bureau elsewhere before coming to the Imperial Valley.

"We're very pleased about Steve coming on board," said John Hawk, president of the Imperial County Vegetable Growers Association. "He has a strong background in business, finance and agriculture."

Pastor sold his 300-acre herb and spice farm in San Jacinto in 1988 and took a job as a farm manager with Spice Islands based in Des Moines, Iowa. He later became a product manager with Spice Islands.

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Pastor left Spice Islands and took a job as a health, safety and compliance manager with Agri-Empire in San Jacinto. He resigned with Agri-Empire to come to the Imperial Valley.

Pastor's Farm Bureau experience includes 18 months as the vice president of the Riverside County Farm Bureau. He was also a district two director with the statewide California Farm Bureau Federation for Inyo/Mono, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

"He's got great focus and he's already in the saddle with the Farm Bureau," Hawk said. "He understands the legislative issues in the state."

Pastor worked with the state-wide Farm Bureau to develop a voluntary air-quality program for west Riverside County.

As vice president of the Riverside farm bureau, Pastor learned a lot about some of the challenges affecting the Imperial Valley, including issues dairies may face such as emission and water runoff problems.

He is a graduate of San Diego State University. After graduation, he was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War.

Pastor is a California Agriculture Leadership fellow and was a director of the California Potato Research Advisory Board.

Pastor has lived in Hemet for 27 years. He's married and has three college-age children

Staff Writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 337-3452 or la_mitchel1@yahoo.com

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