Sarah Frey To Be Honored at 2020 Women in Produce LIVE! General Session
- by Melissa De Leon Chavez
WASHINGTON, DC - Those of us—read: all of us—with United Fresh LIVE! on our calendars for June are in for a real treat! At this year’s Women in Produce LIVE! General Session on June 16, Sarah Frey, President and CEO of Certified Women Owned Business Frey Farms and Founder of Tsamma™ Watermelon Juice and Sarah’s Home Grown, will be taking the virtual stage as both an honoree and speaker.
“For more than 20 years, our Women in Produce honorees have always provided an inspiring look into successful pathways in our industry,” said United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel. “Sarah has such an inspiring personal and professional story to share with our attendees. I know she will inspire yet another generation of produce leaders.”
The United Fresh celebration of Women in Produce, held each year, recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and selects one individual from nomination submissions to share her personal experience of service, according to a press release. Based off of Sarah’s produce industry involvement, contributions, and inspirational status, she will make for a great speaker at this year’s one-of-a-kind event.
If a sneak preview be the food of anticipation and excitement, read on:
Sarah was raised on a small, 100-acre farm in Southern Illinois, where at age eight, she and her mother would buy watermelons from local farmers and go store-to-store, making deliveries to local grocers. At age 16, she bought a truck and took over the distribution, and it wasn’t long before she grew her client list from 12 stores to more than 150.
At age 18, she bought the family business. As her business grew, Sarah’s brothers (Leonard, Harley, John, and Ted Frey), returned home to work with their younger sister, where they remain to this day. Today, Frey Farms specializes in growing, packing, and shipping fresh market produce like pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupe, sweet corn, hard winter squash, and fall ornamentals, with operations in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, and in the panhandle of West Virginia. Her story has been captured in a book, “The Growing Season: How I Saved an American Farm—And Built a New Life,” which is being published by Random House and set to release on August 25, 2020.
Sarah’s industry acumen includes serving as a past member of the United Fresh Board of Directors. Today, she serves on the United Fresh Government Relations Council and the National Watermelon Promotion Board, in addition to serving as a a member of the Illinois Agriculture Coalition Committee. Her accolades also include being recognized by the PMA Foundation as one of the “Eight Women Leaders You Should Know.”
As this year’s honoree, Sarah joins a distinguished list, including:
- Dan’l Mackey Almy, DMA Solutions, Inc.
- Tonya Antle, Organic Produce Network
- Jan Berk, San Miguel Produce
- Frieda Rapoport Caplan, Frieda’s, Inc.
- Karen Caplan, Frieda’s, Inc.
- Margaret D’Arrigo Martin, Margaret, Inc.
- Jan DeLyser, California Avocado Commission
- Lorelei, DiSogra, United Fresh Produce Association
- Jan Fleming, Strube Celery & Vegetable Company
- Janice Honigberg, Sun Belle, Inc.
- Cindy Jewell, Jewell Marketing
- Lorri Koster, Koster Communications, Coastal Grower Magazine
- Julie Krivanek, Krivanek Consulting Inc.
- Kathleen Nave, California Table Grape Commission
- Lisa McNeece, Grimmway Enterprises Inc.
- Teri Miller, The Fresh Market
- Dr. Martha Rhodes-Roberts, Roberts Associates
- Steffanie Smith, Andrew Smith Company
- Heather Shavey, Costco Wholesale
- Mayda Sotomayor-Kirk, Seald Sweet International/Greenyard USA
- Rosemary Talley, Talley Farms
- Jenney Tenney, The Kroger Company
To hear Sarah’s story and watch produce industry history in the making, register for the Women in Produce LIVE! General Session here. Registration is free! The ANUK team will see you there, from the comfort of our couches!