SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas — Texas produce industry members took time during the Texas Produce Convention to recognize leaders in the state’s vegetable and citrus crops on Aug. 13.

Fred Karle, a long-time Rio Grande Valley citrus grower and a salesman for Crop Production Services, received the Texas Citrus Mutual’s Special Award.

Karle, past president of Texas Citrus Mutual, has been involved with many industry organizations, including Texas Valley Citrus Committee, TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc., Texas Citrus Producers Board and the Citrus Grove Managers Association, said Ray Prewett, citrus mutual president.

Karle grows for Healds Valley Farms Inc., Edinburg.

Jimmy Pawlik, owner of Pawlik Farms, McAllen, received the Texas Vegetable Association’s Award of Merit.

Pawlik, a former nuclear engineer and Rio Grande Valley native who worked for General Electric, returned to the Rio Grande Valley about 15 years ago to take over the family’s operation.

Pawlik, who grows about a total of 30 crops, including greens, citrus and row crops, is an active member of the association, said Prewett, who is also Texas Vegetable Association president.

He grows for J & D Produce Inc., Edinburg.

Jose Amador, retired director of the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Weslaco and the Texas A&M-Kingsville Citrus Center, received the Texas Vegetable Association’s President’s Award.

Prewett said the award isn’t given out every year, but recognizes lifetime contributions to the industry.

Amador fostered cooperation between Texas A&M research and extension, the citrus center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Research Service, Prewett said.

Texas produce industry recognizes leaders

Chris Koger

Fred Karle (from left), a Rio Grande Valley citrus grower, Jose Amador, retired director of the Texas A&M University Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Weslaco, and Jimmy Pawlik, owner of Pawlik Farms, were recognized by their peers for service to the industry at the Texas Produce Association Convention Aug. 13.