Mike D'Ottavio: Jersey Fresh award was 'a great honor'
Back in mid-February, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture presented the Patrick J. Mullen Jersey Fresh Quality Grading Award to D'Ottavio Produce during the co-located conventions of New Jersey's State Board of Agriculture and the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey, held in Atlantic City, NJ.
"Not only was it a great honor to receive this award, I was also glad that the people that make it happen every day were there to celebrate our achievement that night," said Mike D'Ottavio, president of Vineland, NJ-based D'Ottavio Produce. "I remember as a young man, my mother was very active for many years in promoting the Jersey Fresh program and what it stands for. She always told me to be proud of what you grow and to make sure you always pack every box with pride, because the name on the side of the box is your legacy. So for me, it was a very special award, and we will display it proudly in our office. My thanks to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for all that it does for the Jersey growers."
Now the company president is focusing on the upcoming New Jersey spring produce deal.
"This season needs to be the one that all farmers will smile about and give them a reason to continue what generations before them did," he said Monday, March 14. "We're counting on a good season; the current demand for quality fresh fruit and produce is incredible. We're going to step up and plant our farm to meet this demand."
He added, "I'm hoping for a good year for all growers. I have my fingers crossed that the weather is in our favor and the markets are where we need them to be."
Photo: The New Jersey Department of Agriculture recently presented the Patrick J. Mullen Jersey Fresh Quality Grading Award to D'Ottavio Produce. Shown are Douglas H. Fisher, New Jersey's secretary of agriculture; Anthony D'Ottavio and Michael D'Ottavio of D'Ottavio Produce; Joe Atchison III, NJDA's director of marketing and assistant secretary of agriculture; Dave Duquette of D'Ottavio Produce; and Anthony Castellini of D'Ottavio Farms.