2020 Produce Business 40 Under Forty Award Winner: Wyatt Meiggs

Age: 36
Western Sky Produce LLC
Salinas, CA

Meiggs is known for his leadership and critical thinking skills beyond his years and experience. His first full time job in the industry began in 2008 with FoodSource, a CH Robinson company, as an account manager. He spend 12 years with FoodSource/Robinson working in many different roles from sales to supply management, including senior sourcing representative, account manager, and category manager.

In his last role as category manager, he was responsible for developing and managing two significant programs: 1) a distribution program for smaller set green grocers in the Northeast, and 2) management of key large import and distribution programs, including an import apple and pear program from South America to major retail chains across the country.

His progression through Robinson allowed him to parlay his talents into an entrepreneurial role, and in 2020 he opened Western Sky Produce with business partner Phillip Giles. The company works to create value for customers and growers by optimizing supply chains and discovering efficiencies. In his position as president of sales and grower relations of the new venture, Meiggs is responsible for overseeing the company’s supplier base and working closely with customers to create custom solutions to individual needs.

He was the first student to graduate with a concentration in ag business from Cal State University Monterey Bay, and utilized various internships in the produce industry while attending college.

Hobbies: Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Biking, Golfing

Family/Personal/Community: Married, 2 children

Motto in life: “Stay passionate and work hard to achieve your goals.”

Q: How did you begin working in the produce industry?
My uncle was a fresh vegetable grower in Hollister, CA, and I remember at an early age driving around with him from ranch to ranch checking on the progression of the crops he grew. I can still remember being no more than 10-years-old and knowing that I was going to work in the produce industry. A lot has changed since then but here I am 25 years later working in the industry that I always wanted to be involved in.

Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
am proud of the many partnerships I have created and maintained throughout my career. I spend a lot of time thinking about how my actions and performance affect my partners.

Q: What industry improvements would you like to see?
I believe food waste is at the top of my list. I would like to see a better and more transparent supply chain that eliminates food waste in our industry.

Q: What do you think the industry can do to promote more produce consumption?
I am a firm believer that if you start healthy habits with children, they will grow up and continue those healthy habits throughout their lives. In my opinion, the opportunity lies in getting more produce into the mouths of children now. Programs like Brighter Bites and Salad Bars for Schools are excellent examples of engaging children now so they continue to eat more fresh produce starting at a young age.

Q: What do you see as the most critical “hot button” issue facing the industry in the next decade?
Labor is the hot button for me. The amount of the labor force that is willing to go out and harvest crops such as berries and apples will continue to shrink.

Q: What would you like to be doing in your career when you turn 50?
I would like to be surrounded by colleagues who work hard to advance our industry.