Edward “Ed” Baloian, a California produce pioneer, will be recognized Feb. 27 by the Ag One Foundation at California State University, Fresno for his support of the state’s agriculture industry.

He will be honored as the 13th Community Salute recipient during the Ag One Community Salute Award Dinner at 7 p.m. at Pardini’s Catering and Banquets (2257 W. Shaw Ave.).

Proceeds from the event will establish the Ag One – Edward “Ed” Baloian Endowment Fund to benefit students pursuing a degree at Fresno State’s Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

Baloian, who is the chairman of Baloian Farms, has devoted more than 60 years to the California produce industry. His father founded the full-service produce business in 1923 and Ed and his brother James Baloian joined him as partners in the business in 1945 after returning from World War II military service.

In 1965, they established Pam Pak Distributors to package and market fresh vegetables from a large number of local growers who supplied Charles Baloian Co. Other labels include Marty Boy, Balo and Valley Jewels. The Baloians began private farming operations three years later.

In 1985, Ed Baloian and his son, Tim, created Baloian Packing, which continued the efforts of Pam Pak and became regarded as a leading California grower, shipper and packer of bell peppers, lettuce, eggplant, red onions, melons and squash.

From company headquarters in Fresno, Ed Baloian’s leadership has expanded the business across the United States and into Canada, Mexico and Chile.

In addition to much industry recognition over the years, he received the Central California Excellence in Business Award for his perseverance in leading Baloian Farms back to success after his company was destroyed by arson in the early 1990s.

The Ag One salute dinner is open to the public and begins with a social hour at 6 p.m. Reservations are $100 per person and $1,000 per table. Sponsorship opportunities range from $500 to $5,000.

For information about Ag One or for ticket reservations, call 559.278.4266.

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