In Honor of Andrew ‘Andy’ A. D’Arrigo

Speech Of
Of California
In The House Of Representatives
Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Andrew “Andy” A. D’Arrigo, on the occasion of his recognition by the Grower-Shipper Association with the E.E. “Gene” Harden Award for Lifetime Achievement. Andy is a remarkable American whose hard work and innovation has helped to shape the Salinas Valley and build one of the largest and most innovative family-owned produce companies in the world.

The son of Italian immigrants, Andy was born in Stockton, California, in 1924. His family later moved to the Salinas Valley where his father Stefano and uncle Andrew began a small produce business in 1932. The advent of new ice and refrigeration technologies sparked a boom in California’s produce industry and the D’Arrigo brothers stepped into this opportunity and helped push the envelope even further. Andy essentially grew up in the produce business. Indeed, the D’Arrigo Brothers iconic “Andy Boy” featured Andy’s face and name. In his spare time, Andy was an active Boy Scout, even earning Eagle Scout status in high school. During WWII, Andy served in the Navy. Once out of the service, Andy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis and soon after married his wife of 64 years, Phyllis.

After the death of his father in 1951, Andy took over the West Coast operations of the D’Arrigo Bros. Company. The business had been built on shipping produce east from California. Under the D’Arrigos’ leadership, it introduced new crops to the American menu, including broccoli, broccoli rabe, and cactus pears, to name a few. Under Andy’s leadership, the company grew into a full-service, vertically integrated, produce supplier–growing, marketing, and shipping fresh fruits and vegetables across North America, and beyond. In acknowledgement of the agricultural expertise of the D’Arrigo family, three generations of the D’Arrigo family, including Andy, have been elected president and other leadership positions of the Western Growers Association, the Grower-Shipper Association, and other agriculture industry organizations.

The D’Arrigo family has always believed in giving back to their community. Over the years they have supported organizations such as Natividad Hospital, the United Way, the Boys and Girls Club, the American Cancer Society, the National Steinbeck Center, the Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, the YMCA, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, among others. As adoptive parents themselves, Andy and his wife are strong supporters of the Salinas based Kinship Center adoption services center, including its special needs counseling clinic that bears the D’Arrigo name.

Mr. Speaker, I know I speak for the whole House in commending Andy D’Arrigo for helping Americans eat better food and the people of the Central Coast live better lives.