Producer member profile – Paul Meador

 – Harvesting, hauling and more

FFVA Producer and Trade Associate Member Paul Meador is the most recent addition to the FFVA board of directors.

– FFVA has a new face among its board of directors who is not only a producer member several times over but is a trade associate member as well. Paul Meador heads Everglades Harvesting & Hauling Inc. of LaBelle and owns and partners with others to grow citrus and vegetables.

Meador is a fourth-generation grower whose family founded Everglades Harvesting & Hauling in 1990. He also is involved in partnerships with Gulf Citrus Partners, Bear Hammock Groves, Eagle Island Investments and Frisbee Meador Farms in Southwest Florida. Much of the operations’ citrus is sold to Florida’s Natural and Tropicana. Vegetables are packed through another FFVA trade associate member, Chapman Packing.

Everglades Harvesting & Hauling Inc. provides services such as traditional and mechanical harvesting, hauling and agri-management.

The company’s traditional harvesting operations use E-Verify, the H-2A guest worker program, drug testing and an extensive safety program, Meador says, to ensure a reliable and productive harvesting team. Mechanical harvesting is offered as a cost-saving alternative.

Not surprisingly, Meador says retaining a viable workforce, immigration reform and citrus greening disease are areas of concern. “Labor is a big issue for us, so the immigration discussion is something that’s important. We are very careful as far as who we hire and how they are treated,” he said.

Meador and his wife, Kathryn, have two grown children. Jessica, 27, is a first-grade teacher and Bo, 21, is a student at Florida Southern University. They are members of the First Baptist Church of LaBelle and great supporters of community athletics programs. Meador also is vice president of the Gulf Coast Citrus Association and serves on Florida Citrus Mutual’s board of directors. “I try to stay as active as I can and contribute to the industry. I’m looking forward to working with FFVA’s board of directors,” he said.

Learn more about Everglades Harvesting & Hauling Inc. at evergladesharvesting.com or give Paul Meador a call at 863 675-8500.

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