March 1, 2019

PMA’s Vonnie Estes aims to use technology to help people, planet

Vonnie Estes recently joined the Produce Marketing Association as vice president of technology. Estes has had career rich in developing and encouraging adoption of technology in the agriculture industry. She was the 2017 recipient of the Rosalind Franklin award for leadership in Biotechnology.

1. What are the best words of advice you’ve received? 

“Stay curious.” I strive to always be curious about people and the world and willing to learn.

2. What are your goals for the next 12 months?

I am excited to be a member of the PMA team and fully immerse myself in the association and its mission. My goal is to help our members worldwide find solutions to their most pressing challenges like labor, food safety, natural resource management, energy, etc. We can do this through creating awareness of emerging technologies and connecting them to the knowledge and resources they will need to implement technology.

3. How do you relax?

Hike, run, yoga and read.

4. What would you like your legacy to be?

“She left the world a better place, by creating access to technology that helped people and the planet.”

5. What are the top three things on your bucket list? 

Hike at least four more 14ers (mountains); visit Vietnam; and hike all 59 National Parks — 19 to go.

6. What would you be doing if you were not part of the produce industry?

I would have been drawn to environmental justice or food security. As it turns out, this way I get to do both!

7. What is the one truth you’ve learned about the fruit and vegetable industry? 

People in the industry are always open and looking for better ways to do things. They just have to see the benefits and the risks have to be mitigated.

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