Welcome Column

Welcome to the new site for the Apricot Producers of California. Over the years we have heard from moms and chefs and school foodservice directors and dietitians and educators (just to name a few!) about how you use our site and how we might be able to offer you more.

So, we’ve been listening and taking notes and are pleased to say that our new site now includes a “Moms & Kids” section especially designed to help you and your kids make healthier eating choices and incorporate our nutrition-packed, California Apricots into recipes and snacks that the whole family will enjoy.

In order to support schools in their mission to serve kids more fruits and vegetables, we’ve put together a special section just for school foodservice directors, school nutritionists, and menu planners. The growers of California apricots have children and grandchildren and, yes, even great-grandchildren in public schools and they are personally committed to providing a healthy and nutritious product for all kids!

And, of course, our site will remain true to its core mission—to provide you with the best information on California’s refreshingly sweet and nutritious apricots. We invite you to discover apricots’ rich heritage, powerful nutritional punch and invite you to try some of our heirloom recipes.

Thank you for coming to our site and enjoy!

Bill Ferriera
President of the Apricot Producers of California

Affordable Nutrition—
Canned Apricots Make Great Cents!

Consumers cannot read through a newspaper or listen to the broadcast of the evening news these days without learning about the rising costs of food. Actually, they cannot balance their checkbooks without noticing a shift since the beginning of the year. Energy costs, food costs—it seems that everything has gone up. We’ve all been affected and that is why the growers of California Apricots feel so strongly about eating domestically produced fruits and vegetables. Not only do they not require additional fossil fuels to be shipped into the US, but domestically grown fruits, like canned, dried, frozen and fresh apricots, will also provide you with affordable nutrition that you and your family can rely on. We know that these are tough times and hope that when you’re shopping, you’ll remember to select California canned apricots. They’re a financially healthy choice!

To say that apricots are in Gene Bays’ blood is quite an understatement.
For over 60 years, Gene has been caring for apricot orchards on his family’s ranch in Stanislaus County in Northern California.

Gene’s commitment to agriculture spans a lifetime, starting in Ventura County, California, where he grew walnuts with his father. Today, Bays grows several specialty crops including premium apricots, almonds, nectarines, and tomatoes in the Westley area and is keeping the family’s tradition alive as he works side by side with his son, Ken Bays, managing the family’s farming operation.

“Gene Bays is one of the industry’s most dedicated leaders who has contributed so much to this small specialty crop called California Apricots,” said Bill Ferriera, president of the Apricot Producers of California and a member of the Ag Council Board of Directors. “Gene has set the bar of excellence for all of us to follow. He’s a gem; a kind and wise patriarch and I am so grateful to have known him all these years.”

Gene currently serves as Chairman on two agriculture boards—The Apricot Producers of California (APC) and The Del Puerto Irrigation District. For over 25 years Bays has guided the industry through many challenges, including the closing of Tri-Valley Growers, processor price negotiations and the marketing of canned apricots to a new crop of consumers—elementary school kids and school foodservice directors. Gene is also the recipient of the 2005 Ag Council Co-op Leader Award.

Gene lives in Westley, California with his wife Eleanor of 58 years. They spend most of their time with their three children—Jeanne, Cathie and Ken and their 13 grandchildren—Brendan, Micah, Shane, Lucas, Simon, Gregson, Peter, Stephen, Elizabeth, Daniel, Marie, Christine, and Theresa.