Shannon_Renz

Retail Sales Manager
Taylor Farms: Salinas, CA

Years in Produce:

Age: 37

Personal Information:

Married; One daughter

Hobbies: Riding horses; being outdoors; local school board; past board member of Ag Against Hunger.

Motto in life: If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? — John Wooden

Work History:

Renz began her career with Growers Express with the food safety and quality control teams. She then joined Taylor Farms in 2005 as product manager. After learning the growing side and the processing side, she took on a role in sales, handling foodservice accounts. As Taylor Farms grew on the retail side, she changed her focus to retail accounts. She was promoted to retail sales manager in 2010 when Taylor Farms Retail was formed and has been an integral part of hiring and developing a high-performing team. Renz has long managed two of Taylor’s largest and most strategic accounts. Along with her individual account responsibility, she has managed a team of 10 plus people for almost 10 years. She graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, with a degree in agricultural business. 

Questions & Answers:

Q: How did you begin working in produce?

My family has always been involved in agriculture (mostly hay and cattle), so I knew  I wanted to go to an Ag School for college. While at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, I really gained an understanding of just how big the ag world is. I had a couple internships during college in the produce industry and I was hooked. I liked the people, the opportunities, and I knew my future was in produce. 

Q: Are you a Gen X-er or Millennial? 

I feel like I can identify with both. My birth year falls in that grey area where we get classified either way depending on the report. I hope I represent some of the best of each!

Q: What do you know now you wish you knew when you first started your career? 

The produce industry is filled with great people. Over the years, these people have become some of my best friends. Some days are long, but when you are working towards a common goal with those you enjoy and respect, you’ll have a ton of fun.

Q: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of in your career? 

I am most proud of being part of an amazing team. It is incredibly rewarding to see members of that team grow and gain accomplishments in their own careers. 

Q: What industry improvements would you like to see? 

I think we need to work to introduce future generations to the ag industry. There are so many opportunities outside of actually farming the raw product, and these roles are so important to the success of our industry. 

Q: What advice would you give someone new to the produce industry? 

Show up early, stay late and treat every day as if you are interviewing for your next position … because you are.

Q: What do you think the industry can do to promote more produce consumption? 

Continue to expand convenient, tasty and healthy options. People are pressed for time. Anything we can do to be a solution that they feel good about will result in more consumption.

Q: How has the industry changed in your tenure? 

Automation and technology have been a huge change. From processing orders in the sales office to processing product at our manufacturing plants, there has been such an advancement over the past 15 years. 

Q: What has shocked or surprised you about the produce industry? 

The opportunities for growth. Consumers want fresh, healthy foods, and the technology and advancement in options for these consumers is exciting. I feel fortunate to be a part of an industry that feeds the world.