University of La Verne

Do College Students Need More Life Skills?

It all started on the golf course. Early last year, I attended the Northern Trust Open at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. As I was wandering around the clubhouse, I ran into Mark Brian Smith, the filmmaker who produced and directed “Fear No Fruit,” the documentary about my mom and our family business. He had with him a longtime personal friend Simon, a banker. As per usual, we shook hands and exchanged business cards. So I guess I was a little surprised when six months later I received an email from Simon, who had changed banks, inviting me to be the keynote speaker at a CEO summit. As it turns out, his new bank, Union Bank, is a sponsor of the CEO Summit at the Continue Reading

St. George, Utah

By day 7 of our cross-country journey, Alex and I were ready to be home. But we still had more than 1,000 miles to go. So, after we left Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Tuesday morning, we vowed to drive as far as we could in one day. As I looked on the map, St. George, Utah, looked like a good spot to spend the night. We really had no idea what to expect. So, while Alex was driving, I got out my iPad (which I might add is a fantastic … Continue reading

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

I’m sure you have heard about the new dietary guidelines issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They are calling it the MyPlate communications initiative and it was officially announced on June 2, 2011. For those of us who are not teenagers, we probably remember the basic four food group guidelines (first announced in 1956), which gave us recommendations on our consumption of meats, dairy, grains and fruits and vegetables. In 1992, the basic four guidelines were replaced by the Food Pyramid, which was later updated to MyPyramid … Continue reading

Top questions for global agriculture

After my cross-country trip, you cannot imagine how many emails (over 1,000) and magazines and other reading materials had accumulated for my review. It was a bit daunting, but I have a pretty good system for dealing with emails. (Read my previous post on email.) This morning I chose to start on my stack of reading. Even though reading industry periodicals is literally on the bottom of my to-do list each day, I felt it was time to catch up. One of the periodicals that I find most fascinating is … Continue reading

Visiting Historic Mount Rushmore

Alex and me at Mount Rushmore After we left Chicago, we drove north to Minneapolis, stopping in Wisconsin to get some cheese…and a speeding ticket. While we were there I visited my friend Kim, who I have known since 7th grade. It was great to catch up with her. Then we drove to Omaha, Nebraska, where we have family. My cousins Pam and Mike were very excited that our next stop was Mount Rushmore. The locals fondly call it visiting “The Heads.” They encouraged us to drive west, across Nebraska, … Continue reading