Western Growers Appoints Walt Duflock as New Vice President of Innovation
IRVINE, CA - The whirlwind of technological advances can leave those who aren’t up-to-date left spinning, which is why it has become more important than ever for companies to emphasize technology solutions for fresh produce. To help advance its mission, Western Growers has brought Walt Duflock on as Vice President of Innovation where he will focus on accelerating agtech for Western Growers member companies.
“I am excited to be joining the WG team and look forward to working with farmers and startups to increase the speed and scale of solutions, especially for food safety and labor automation,” said Duflock. “My decades of experience in agriculture and working with Silicon Valley startups, along with building a successful agtech accelerator, give me the right set of skills to lead WG’s innovation initiative.”
Adding 25 years of agricultural and technological experience to the team, Duflock is the perfect fit for this advancing sector. According to a press release, he has experience working with startups in addition to his connections to his fifth-generation family farm in Monterey County, making him an experientially well-versed man for the job.
Before joining Western Growers, Duflock spent the early years of his career building programs and strategies at high-growth Silicon Valley startups like eBay, Reply, and Veritas. Most recently, he served as Executive Innovation Leader for SVG Ventures THRIVE before being welcomed onboard as Vice President of Innovation for Western Growers.
“The need for innovative technology in our members’ fields and facilities has never been more urgent,” said President and CEO Dave Puglia. “Walt Duflock has guided many technology entrepreneurs and brings a demonstrated ability to propel growth in the agriculture technology sector. I am thrilled that Walt will now join WGCIT Director Dennis Donohue, who is driving tangible progress on key agtech initiatives such as automation and food safety enhancement. Together, Walt and Dennis will further strengthen our ability to drive rapid commercialization of the technologies our members need to thrive into the next generation.”
In addition to his work within the tech field, Duflock has contributed greatly to the communities in which he lives. In 2019 he launched SAGE, a 501(c)(6) that focuses on sustainable agriculture and energy in rural economies.
With the perfect balance of agriculture and technology making up his background, Walt will make an excellent addition to the Western Growers team, and we wish him luck in his new endeavor.