`Texas Olive Farmers Elect Leaders - Olive Oil Times

Texas Olive Farmers Elect Leaders

Jan. 2, 2015
Olive Oil Times Staff

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Texas olive oils are becom­ing the toast of the culi­nary world and olive grow­ers from around the state reached a mile­stone on last month when they met in Dripping Springs to elect, for the first time, a board of direc­tors to help advo­cate for the boom­ing indus­try. The Texas Olive Growers Association & Council elected board mem­bers and com­mit­tee direc­tors to advance the asso­ci­a­tion’s mis­sion to pro­mote the growth of olive tree farm­ing, olive oil pro­duc­tion and olive farm­ing edu­ca­tion in Texas.

John Gambini, owner of Texas Hill Country Olive Company in Dripping Springs, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. Gambini has been the interim direc­tor of the orga­ni­za­tion since its incep­tion in 2013. Two olive oils from Gambini’s cer­ti­fied-organic orchard won gold and sil­ver awards at the pres­ti­gious 2014 New York International Olive Oil Competition, leav­ing no doubt that Texas olives make some of the best oils in the world.

Other board mem­bers elected are: Kerry Houston of Polo Legacy Partners LLC in Dimmit County, Rebecca Shockley of Eagle Lake Olive Orchard in Eagle Lake, Jim Kruger of Kruger’s Double O in Dripping Springs, and Gerry Wells of Victoria.

Committee Directors include: Cathy Burnell of Lone Star Olive Ranch in Madisonville; Monte Nesbit, Extension Program Specialist at Texas A & M University; Denise Campbell of Triple C Farms in Sealy; Dan Griffith of Griffith Orchard in Bandera; and Mary Goerner of Olive View Ranch LLC in Hallettsville. The olive indus­try in Texas is flour­ish­ing,” said Gambini. We want to encour­age more grow­ers to become involved as we believe this indus­try is an impor­tant new agri­cul­tural crop.”

Texas is now home to more than 80 grow­ers and more than 400,000 olive trees. The state is the sec­ond-largest pro­ducer of olive oil in the US, behind California, but is gain­ing momen­tum in mar­ket share of US-pro­duced olive oils.

Olive oils pro­duced in the United States are of a bet­ter qual­ity than imported oils,” said Gambini. Domestic oils are not adul­ter­ated with canola and other oils the way imported oils often are.”

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