Bob Antle, board co-chairman at Tanimura & Antle, is recipient of a lifetime achievement award in agriculture from the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California.

Antle was honored with the E.E. Gene Harden award by the Salinas-based trade group in Corral de Tierra June 21 at its 76th annual golf tournament and gala.

The award recognizes Antle’s contributions to the community as well as to Central Coast agriculture.

Antle, 78, co-chairs the Tanimura & Antle board with George Tanimura. The company was formed in 1982 to join the Antle family’s packing and shipping experience with the Tanimura family’s growing operations.

Antle was serving on the Castle & Cooke Inc. board before the creation of Tanimura & Antle. He had succeeded his father, Bud Antle, as chief executive officer of the Bud Antle companies after the latter’s death at 58 in 1972. Six years later, he merged those companies with Castle & Cooke, now Dole Food Co.

Bob Antle is credited with initiatives such as the introduction of field-wrapped fresh vegetables in 1960; developing distribution centers for the introduction of wrapped lettuce and other source-packaged fruits and vegetables in 1965; and producing crop transplants in 1970, according to a news release.

He initially worked on the family lettuce harvesting operation in 1949 as a loader. That role provided his first contact with the Tanimuras.

After graduating from Stanford, his first job was directing Antle Carrots.

Antle eventually became general sales manager.

In 1966 he relocated to the East Coast to develop the House of Bud, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler. The House of Bud opened facilities in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Brussels, Belgium.

His other roles have included:

  • co-chairman of the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute;
  • president of Southern Arizona Ranch Co. LLC;
  • president of Pinnacalitos Chalone LP;
  • past president of the President’s Council at California State University Monterey Bay; and
  • founding president of Central Coast Water Quality Preservation Inc.

In 2005, he was appointed to the California state senate commission on agricultural worker housing and health.

He’s a supporter of the University of Arizona.