Los Angeles-based Gourmet Trading Company's Washington grower field representative Phil Clouse is Washington Asparagus Person of the Year.

Clouse, with Gourmet Trading Company since 2005, was honored by the Washington Asparagus Commission for his outstanding service to the Washington asparagus industry over the past 40 years, according to a Gourmet Trading Company news release.

“Thanks to Phil’s hard work and determination over the past eight years, Gourmet Trading Company has become the largest shipper in the area,” Gourmet Trading Company president, Brian Miller stated in the release. “We look forward to another great Washington asparagus season with him.”

Jim Middleton, former commission chairman and member of this year’s selection committee, said recipient Phil Clouse displayed the longevity, dedication, knowledge and respect necessary for such an honor.

“His opinion is of the greatest value to us in this industry,” Middleton said. “I don’t know of anyone who has the amount of respect he does, especially from the grower’s side. The respect for Phil Clouse as a field rep and rep of one of the packers in our state is unequaled.”

For more information on asparagus, see the Asparagus Marketing section in the April 15 edition of The Packer.