When Stewart & Jasper Orchards president Jim Jasper was asked to attend the Almond Conference Gala Dinner to celebrate the retirement of his company’s marketing manager Marguerite Bradley, he had no idea that he would also be recognized that same night with the Almond Board of California’s most distinguished honor, the Almond Achievement Award.
“I was extremely surprised because I wasn’t expecting it, but it really means a lot,” said Jasper. “I don’t think of it as an individual award, so I don’t accept it for myself. I accept it for all of the people that are a part of Stewart & Jasper—those who have contributed to the almond industry and our company for 70 years.”
Since 2011, the Almond Achievement Award has honored an industry or allied industry member who has added value to the California Almond Industry through long-term service, contributions or innovations.
Like his father Lee Jasper and Romaine Stewart before him, Jim Jasper has always taken a more personable approach to the almond industry by creating strong, long-term relationships with everyone involved in his business—from his growers to his customers.
Both his father and Stewart set the second generation Jasper up for a booming almond business on the west side of California’s Central valley that successfully controlled every aspect of production, including hulling, shelling, and processing. A partnership that originally started in the poultry business, Lee Jasper and Stewart planted their first of many almond orchards in the mid-1950s.
Through it all, Jasper has made service to the industry a priority, dedicating more than 15 years to the efforts and vision for the industry. He has been very active with ABC, serving on multiple committees and task forces, including the Environmental Committee, Rule Task Force, Established Markets Subcommittee, Information and Research Committee, Aflatoxin and Control Task Force, Quality Control/Food Quality and Safety Committee, and Public Relations and Advertising Committee.
In addition, Jasper has been committed to sharing the industry’s story as a spokesperson and a host, giving countless interviews and tours. He’s been a gracious host to multiple international and high-level guests, offering his orchard and facility for tours by North America health professionals and Chinese media groups.
“Jim and his family have been phenomenal ambassadors for the California Almond industry, hosting numerous groups of health professionals, media and other stakeholders through the years,” said Molly Spence, regional director of North America, Almond Board of California. “Jim helps them understand the industry in his own authoritative and kindly way, and we’ve been so grateful to him for not only his valuable time, but also for his special touch.”
Past Almond Achievement Award recipients include Ned Ryan, Martin Pohl, Joe MacIlvaine and Dave Baker. Nominations for the Almond Achievement Award are accepted between August and October every year.