Monterey Mushrooms' Lindsey Roberts Reflects on the Industry
WATSONVILLE, CA - As I hear more and more stories from the women in this industry, I find myself inspired by the strength and commitment they exude. And as a rookie produce industry participant, I was lucky to speak with Lindsey Roberts, Marketing Manager for Monterey Mushrooms, who clued me in to the ins and outs of this colorful industry, and the unbridled enthusiasm for what she does. As we all gear up for the Women’s Fresh Perspectives Conference (WFPC) April 14 to 16, we at ANUK are taking time to honor the hard-working women of the produce industry.
“This is the most welcoming, down-to-earth industry there is. I love to be a part of it,” Lindsey told me. “It’s like a big family and the trade shows are like our family reunions. I love produce marketing because it’s real. I believe it’s my responsibility—and my fellow peers in the produce industry’s responsibility to help educate the world about what it means to live a healthy, nutritious life and help eliminate some of the barriers that might make that hard for people.”
An industry vet of 14 years, Lindsey began her career as a humble intern for a strawberry grower. From there, she developed a rich and rewarding career, earning Agricultural Science and Agricultural Communications degree from Cal Poly along the way. For the past four years, Lindsey has been a member of Monterey Mushrooms’ marketing team, and has since developed a mind for mushrooms.
“Prior to marketing, I spent time working in quality and food safety. From there, I was chosen to participate in an intensive year-long grower training program that taught me about the art and science of growing mushrooms,” explained Lindsey. “Mushrooms are a niche produce item. After all, we have our own living kingdom: FUNGI! How could that be boring?”
Lindsey expressed to me her appreciation of the strong women of the past who blazed a trail in the produce industry for generations to come. No (wo)man is an island in this industry, and Lindsey gives credit to the great women and men who give advice and encourage fellow women marketers in agriculture. Among them is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Monterey Mushrooms, Mike O’Brien, who had nothing but high praise for Lindsey’s accomplishments.
“Lindsey is a pleasure to work with and a great teammate,” said Mike. “She is an energetic, innovative marketer and has brought to Monterey Mushrooms a new vision of marketing. On top of her marketing expertise she is a natural leader. She leads many projects for us and her project management skills are unmatched. Her background in growing mushrooms is an added value as she is an expert in all levels of Monterey Mushrooms. What many don't know about Lindsey is that her energy and leadership don't stop at work. She is involved in many volunteer charity organizations in the Monterey/Salinas area.”
Lindsey loves any chance for Monterey Mushrooms’ sales team to show off their products and tools that she helped to develop in an effort to sell more mushrooms. She delights in seeing attendees’ eyes light up when presented with new products, resources, or reports.
Humble beginnings and hard work have led Lindsey to where she is now. It may have taken time, but the wait was definitely worth it—something I can relate to on a deeply personal level.
“It wasn't an easy path to find a job that I love to show up to every morning. As with most jobs, especially in agriculture, you start at the bottom and work your way up. I’m so grateful for my days ‘in the trenches’ because it gave me the knowledge and experience I use every day in my, now, corporate office job," she said. "I'm proud to talk about those days.”
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