John Bison Joins Ag Water Chemical
BAKERSFIELD, CA - When I first joined the produce industry five years ago, one of my first calls was to John Bison. When I first met him he was working with water tech company Hortau, walking me through how water stress affects a plant and, therefore, hinders the yield and quality of what it produces. Now he is diving deeper, so to speak, in a new role with Ag Water Chemical.
“In the coming seasons, Ag Water Chemical’s emphasis on proactive service is really exciting,” John sums up. “The superior chemistry and a proactive service and support is really what makes AWC second to none in this sector of our industry.”
Since 1999, Ag Water Chemical has grown into a water treatment business that utilizes proprietary organic and conventional products to ensure everything from efficiency and uniformity in irrigation performance, to food safety from the source.
“Treating the water prior to harvest and ensuring it is free of contaminants that could potentially be harmful to consumers is an increasingly important part of food safety,” John explains, telling me how it boils down to giving the grower the best tools possible.
“It’s key at this phase of the game to help growers keep water as safe as possible,” Doug Larson, National Sales Manager, tells me. He explains that, as the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has gone into effect, there is a list of standards for growers to meet. “We test the water to determine specific treatment needs, apply those treatments, and continue to do so throughout the remainder of that crop's growing cycle. It is site-specific as we help each farm meet those standards.”
In addition to these, the company monitors and provides tests to fix and ensure irrigation systems are clear of any plugs or impediments that could be disrupting its ability to evenly distribute water. Reduced distribution uniformity can increase plant stress, which negatively affects quality and yield, as well as reduces system efficiencies of water, energy, nutrients, and more—the very things that John first taught me about water. As he and Doug both explained to me, operating an irrigation system at its optimum efficiency comes down to ROI, which is where AWC can help.
“It’s super rewarding to provide this service, to have an opportunity to be in the field and closer to the growers,” John says. “I have known of the owner of Ag Water Chemical, Richard Clevenger, for 20+ years and always looked up to him. To have a chance to work for this company, it feels like I’ve found my home.”
As Doug and I shared stories of John, it is clear that the feeling is mutual.
“There are many exciting changes taking place in the industry at this moment and it’s great to have John in the AWC family to be a part of that. The way he takes on clients is really unique yet matches with our own mantra. We want to find solutions to each grower’s specific needs. With John comes extensive knowledge of the industry and countless trusted relationships due to his many years of experience. In the few short weeks that he has been on board, he has already proven to be a valued asset to our entire team and will no doubt be a solid mentor for our young talent as well,” Doug shared.
With a weathered eye on the horizon, it will be exciting to see what is in store for this duo, Ag Water Chemical, and all that they serve in the fresh produce industry.