Bob Jones, Jr. is co-owner and chief operating officer of The Chef’s Garden, a family owned and operated vegetable farm in Huron, Ohio. Bob leads the farm team in research, food safety and food quality. His responsibilities include working with the farm’s field and greenhouse growers on nutrient management, plant and soil biology, food safety, immigration and energy.
Bob has a B.S. in Agriculture from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree from the Institute for Effective Church Leadership. He has been active in various industry organizations at the state and national level for over 15 years. Bob formerly served on the Board of the Ohio Vegetable and Potato Growers Association and subsequently the Ohio Produce Growers & Marketers Association. He currently serves on the Board of the OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals, which is the leading horticulture educational association in the United States.
His industry leadership allows him to represent the interests of greenhouse growers and small family farms. As the chairman of the Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement project, he was called to testify in front of the Ohio Senate. On the federal level, Bob has testified before the Senate Sub Committee on Agriculture and Organics. His role in the organization included grassroots efforts to promote and protect food safety in the agricultural industry by informing consumers of what farmers are doing to address these issues and educating other small farms on food safety practices. Bob is currently working with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) officials on the Food Safety Modernization Act proposed rules and implementation.
Bob’s commitment to sustainable agriculture and innovation in the farming industry has led to numerous community partnerships and projects with universities around the country. He participates in an advisory board for a USDA-funded food safety project in conjunction with Colorado State University, the University of Florida and the University of Vermont, which is focused on water quality related to irrigation and wash water. He is also involved in a well and city water project with the University of Toledo, a plant nutrition project with The Ohio State University and various initiatives to reduce energy consumption in greenhouse operations.
At The Chef’s Garden, Bob works closely with his father, Bob, Sr., and brother, Lee. The family has been involved in agriculture for six generations, focusing on vegetable production for the past 40 years. Bob is married to Julie, whom he met as a teenager working on the family farm. They have three children: Kate, Zach and Becca.