(Oct. 28) A 26-year veteran of Mills Family Farms, Salinas, Calif., will leave his family business in January.

Jim Mills, senior vice president, began his tenure in the early 1970s harvesting lettuce during the summers and has worked full-time since 1979. He gave his father, company founder and president Basil Mills, a letter of resignation the third week of October.

Mills said he will serve as a consultant to the company, but his day-to-day involvement will end.

“I’m turning 50 next year, and I still feel I’ve got a lot of creative things I want to do,” he said. “ … My wife (Mary) and I made the decision that we have a few things we’re interested in pursuing outside of produce in the coming year.”
He declined to elaborate.

For the past 10 years, Mills and his brother, senior vice president Dave Mills, have been instrumental in growing the company’s whole-leaf lettuce operation. Mills Family Farms in August expanded its foodservice line of Wholeleaves branded lettuce to retail and is currently testing the new retail products.