Cancel OK

Walnut Bargaining Association names new management

Walnut Bargaining Association logo


March 1, 2024 Sacramento, CA  – The Walnut Bargaining Association (WBA) has announced it is embarking on a new strategic direction with the retirement of Jonathan W. Field, who has served as Executive Director of the association since 2002 and is now retiring.
“Jonathan has been a tremendous asset to the California walnut industry and has provided us with invaluable information on world economic conditions, walnut supply/demand factors and grower pricing. More than that, he has been a friend to the members of WBA,” said Pete Jelavich, WBA Board member and a walnut grower from Yuba City.
The Walnut Bargaining Association is a grower-owned cooperative established in 1991 and is the only organization that exists solely to represent California walnut farmers.

Chris Zanobini
Chris Zanobini

Moving forward, WBA has secured new management through Chris Zanobini and Ag Association Management Services, a firm representing over 30 different ag associations headquartered in Sacramento.
“We are very excited to be working with someone as experienced as Chris Zanobini who has a diverse staff. Our hope is that this will allow our organization to expand into other areas that will benefit California walnut farmers,” said Donald Norene, Chairman of the WBA.  
“Ag Association Management Services (AAMSI) provides management and operational services for associations, foundations, commissions and marketing orders.,” said Chris Zanobini. “We currently manage and/or provide services to a diverse group of agriculture-based organizations and are committed to providing a professional staff and team of experts to address legislative, regulatory, and member concerns. Our passion for ag runs deep and we’ve been fortunate to help lead and support ag organizations for over thirty years.”
Field has had a long career with California agriculture beginning in 1976 when he worked as a statistician for California Ag Statistics Services. Next, he was an economist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In 1981, he began working for the California Tree Fruit Agreement (CTFA) a group of marketing orders representing fresh peaches, plums, nectarines, fresh and processed pears. Field served as CEO of this organization for several years. 

After his ‘retirement’ from CTFA, Field took on a number of part-time positions including managing the WBA in addition to serving as the compliance officer for two food safety auditing programs under the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board and the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
“The WBA is well positioned to help lead the walnut industry into the future,” said Field.  “I have enjoyed working with the Board and wish them well in the future.”
“Jon has always had a strong commitment to California farmers and is a rancher himself through his long-time business breeding and selling sheep,” continued Jelavich.  “We wish him the best in his retirement.”
According to Norene, the organization has already begun strategizing on how it might be reorganized to better serve California walnut growers.  “We welcome any input from industry members and urge you to visit our website to learn more about what WBA is already doing.”
Interested farmers are also encouraged to sign up to receive news and updates from WBA here