By: Rudy Arredondo
I want to express my gratitude to the LFRI Host Committee, led by our Vice President for Field Operations, Mr. Eugene Pickett.
I would like to thank the members of our LFRI board of directors. Their work and commitment have allowed this organization to become an international entity with the capacity to help and provide technical assistance to our stakeholders.
I want to personally express my love, gratitude and appreciation to our entire Latino Farmers & Ranchers International staff, contractors and volunteers who have worked with us, selflessly, for our first Congress in 2018. Their belief, commitment and devotion to our mission allowed us to use their skills and talent to attain the level of success we have accomplished during this period of time. Thank you for your commitment to LFRI’s mission to “Protect, Preserve and Serve”. A special recognition goes to our members, partners and allies who believe in the mission and continue to collaborate with us.
I am honored and humbled by your commitment and desire and commitment to continue providing us with freshly grown quality food for consumption by our community. This, in spite of the hardships we are experiencing as a result of the pandemic, climate crises, drought, flooding and wildfires you’ve had to deal with.
There is no question that these past years, especially during 2022 and 2023 we experienced were extremely difficult and trying. The loss of the momentum and having had to re-group and re-establish our organizational structure and with extremely less resources to work with has been brutal.
I sincerely thank you for keeping the faith and trusting the LFRI leadership team to continue to work on behalf of our under-resourced farm and ranch members, partners and allies. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
The genesis of this organization goes back 18 years now, beginning with the organizing conference that was held in September 2005 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In spite of the difficulties that we experience during 2022 and 2023, we have not only survived, but have accomplished an unthinkable and transitioned from a basic domestic focused organization and transitioned to work in the international arena.
Lastly, I want to make a major announcement to this important body.
I will be stepping down as President/CEO of the Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc. I am very fortunate to have found a young man to move LFRI forward to another dimension. Let me introduce him to you, Mr. Gerardo Martinez from Edgewater, Maryland. He has already attained an incredible accomplishment and is considered a rock star in our state of Maryland and has also attained notoriety in the international agricultural sector.
NO, I am not going to disappear, I will be available to assist and support Gerardo as much as he wishes to have me around.
Si Se Puede!
Immediate Past President/CEO
Latino Farmers & Ranchers International, Inc.