Meet Skeeter Bethea: Colleague of California Sun Grower Services since February 2023.
Skeeter Bethea joined Cal Sun Grower Services/Morning Star in February of this year and has now completed his first season working with the logistical operations team.
He quickly learned the ins and outs of a self-managed company, getting to know colleagues and their missions. Skeeter soon realized how important building relationships and mutual trust is in this dynamic environment. Additionally, he realized that the processing tomato industry is significantly more fast-paced than the fresh market tomatoes, but Skeeter thrives on that intensity.
Although this may have been Skeeter’s first season working with processing tomatoes, his roots run deep in farming. Skeeter grew up working the land and managing farms. As a 4th generation Florida vegetable grower, farming is in his blood. Despite initially choosing a college course to become a vet, his passion for agriculture prevailed.
After spending 20 years in the fresh market farm industry in Florida, Skeeter recognized that variety development and greenhouse use were the future of growing, and he found a new passion. His career with Ena Zaden marked the beginning of this journey, where he quickly discovered the complexity of greenhouse growing, thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.
Over the years, Skeeter gained experience with several other growing-focused companies, including delving into the medical cannabis production world, which was an experience of its own. Eventually, he landed in central California.
Skeeter met his wife Danielle while working for Ena Zaden, and they recently celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary. She is a Salinas, CA native, and that is where they call home today, along with her three daughters, who live nearby.
They mutually love spending time at the beach, but joke about her preference for the cooler climate of the northern CA coast versus Skeeter’s love of the warm Florida beaches and water. Their weekends are filled with hiking the rolling coastal hills, watching the sunset, attending church, and cooking—especially fresh fish, which was always abundant growing up in Florida.
Right: Wife and CA Family | Left: Florida Family
Most of Skeeter’s side of the family lives in Florida. He has a son and daughter, and between his two sisters, he has 16 nieces and nephews. He greatly enjoys traveling back home for yearly visits, especially their annual 4th of July family vacation to Lake June, in Lake Placid, FL, where they spend most of their time bass fishing.
Skeeter is an MLB baseball and college football fanatic. He also loves to go hunting and play cards, but fishing is something he finds great joy in. He particularly enjoys participating in Billfishing tournaments in Florida, a team sport that requires strategic planning and equal participation by all on board. His fondest memory was managing to catch a 450lb Marlin that earned his team second place.
Left: Marlin | Right: Mahi Mahi
When Skeeter talks about the future, his philosophy is “seize the day.” Having survived catastrophic car wrecks, wild animal attacks, and stage 4 cancer, his perspective on life is to have fun, not to sweat the little things, appreciate every sunrise, and not to put off until tomorrow what can be done today.
Those who know him enjoy his bright and positive personality, mixed with a bit of mischief and a good laugh. Friends are held tight, and new connections are always welcome.