Senior Guide 2023-2

Gary Tanimura’s family has been farming the Salinas Valley since his grandfather immigrated to California from Japan more than 100 years ago.Tanimura first got his own hands in the earth in the early 1960s, when he was only 13 years old. “When I first went farming, we used to [irrigate] with open ditches,”Tanimura recalls of the time-tested yet archaic practice. “They’d put all the water in the ditch and had these siphon pipes, and that’s how you would irrigate the fields.” Now 74,Tanimura has been around long enough to witness how agriculture has transformed with the times. He’s seen California farmers like Tanimura & Antle—the Spreckelsbased company that he, his father, his brother and his uncles, alongside the Antle family, built into one of the Salinas Valley’s major growers—evolve as technology developed. “We went from ditch irrigation to surface pipes…And then from there we went to sprinklers, and then to drip irrigation,” Tanimura notes.“That’s one great thing about my business:You’ve seen, over the years, all the different technologies that we’ve used to make us better farmers.” Tanimura’s career has seen him grow alongside the family business.While he was always most comfortable in the fields, he eventually versed himself in the management side of things and became executive vice president of production at Tanimura & Antle, while also sitting on the company’s board. “Before, I was more or less just a farmer, but then I got to learn about the business side,” he says.“As the years progressed, as my dad and uncles passed on, I became more and more [about] taking care of the business.” Though he officially retired in 2017,Tanimura remains as busy as ever. He still works 40 to 50 hours a week—providing his input on crop growth, negotiating field leases with landlords he’s known for decades, and regularly driving to the San Joaquin and Imperial valleys to check on T&A’s fields there. Tanimura continues to serve as chair of the company’s board, as well as chair of the Tanimura Family Foundation.The foundation’s gifts have included donations to Tanimura’s alma mater, Hartnell College, which helped revive its agriculture program. “I’m fortunate I have a career where you can still go out there, check the fields and see how they’re growing,”Tanimura says.“In my business, Mother Nature is the boss, so no two years are the same.” Salt of the Earth Salinas Valley grower Gary Tanimura hasn’t let retirement stop him from working up to 50 hours a week. By Rey Mashayekhi DANIEL DREIFUSS 46 The Best of Monterey Bay® Living Well 2023-2024 parent and professional education. • Servicios comunitarios que incluyen cuidado tutelar, adopción, apoyo a parientes cuidadores, salud mental infantil y servicios integrales, asistencia de tutela legal y educación para padres y profesionales. 831-455-9965 Share The Care Comparte El Cuidado • Evidence-informed model for family, friends, and associates to pool time and resources to share caregiving responsibilities • Modelo basado en evidencia para familiares, amigos y asociados para juntar tiempo y recursos para compartir responsabilidades de cuidado 212-991-9688 The Diversity Center of Santa Cruz Centro De Diversidad De Santa Cruz • Support groups, discussion groups, education, resource referral information, social and cultural programs • 60Plus LBGTQ+ Program • M-F 10:30-6pm Closed Thursdays from 3-4:45pm • Grupos de apoyo, grupos de discusión, educación, información de referencia de recursos, grupos sociales y culturales • Programa para personas LGBTQ de edad 60+ • L-V 10:30-6pm cerrado los Jueves de 3-4:45pm 831-425-5422 Family and Caregiver Familia y Cuidadores