Produce mascots from five Salinas, Calif., grower-shippers brought bright colors to an iceberg lettuce glean for Ag Against Hunger at a Tanimura & Antle field.

Volunteers from the nonprofit and the California Rodeo Salinas joined mascots from Tanimura & Antle, The Nunes Co., Chiquita Brands International, Dole Fresh Vegetables and Ocean Mist Farms on the glean July 9.

Billy Broccoflower and his larger than life counterparts were there in part to promote a produce mascot race scheduled for July 22 at the rodeo. The event, “Fight Hunger Night,” is expected to reach a field of eight. Other companies on the list of prospective competitors include Green Giant Fresh and Pacific International Marketing.

The overgrown vegetables and fruits will sprint for bragging rights and charity. The race could raise up to $10,000 for Ag Against Hunger, said Mandy Linquist, marketing manager for the California Rodeo Salinas.

Produce mascots to race against hungerLinquist joined Ag Against Hunger executive director Karen DeWitt on the glean, supervised by the nonprofit’s gleaning coordinator Jim Geiger and Brian Antle, harvest manager at Tanimura & Antle.

The rodeo is set for July 21-24 in Salinas.  The California Rodeo Association returns more than $200,000 annually to local nonprofits. For more information, visit

Ag Against Hunger provides fresh donated produce to food banks in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, and elsewhere in California and the West.