Navi Pooni, a third-generation farmer in the Fresno area, has deep roots in agriculture – his ancestors farmed in India for generations. In 1978, his parents immigrated to the United States and his father continued the tradition by farming Thompson seedless grapes for raisins. Pooni is new to the Board this year.
In addition to farming, both of Pooni’s parents worked for Spreckels Sugar Co. for 26 years.
Pooni was born and raised in Fresno and grew up in the Fowler/Easton area. He was an avid basketball player at Washington Union High School until he graduated in 1998. In 2002, he graduated from California State University, Fresno with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics.
After graduating, he worked in produce sales at Ballantine Produce until his father’s untimely passing in 2004. In 2006, Navi took over the family farm full-time.
Today, Navi handles the day-to-day operations of the farm and his mother does the bookkeeping. The family’s raisins are primarily sent to National Raisin Company in Fowler and Caruthers Raisin Packing Co. in Caruthers.
For as long as Navi can remember, the Pooni family has been a Fresno County Farm Bureau member. When he received a call from FCFB CEO/Executive Director Ryan Jacobsen asking him if he’d be interested in joining the FCFB Board of Directors, he thought it would be a great opportunity to get more involved and learn from his peers. He accepted the offer.
“I look forward to being a member of the Board because I’ll become more educated on issues at hand,” said Pooni. “I’ve been kind of sheltered – this will help me get out and learn issues in the industry as a whole.”
Navi says he is very outgoing and can make friends anywhere. He is also fluent in Punjabi.
Navi and his wife, Sunjit, have a newborn baby boy, Devan. Pooni is an avid sports fan and recently attended the World Series. However, his favorite sport is basketball. In his free time, Navi coaches junior varsity basketball at Caruthers High School. He also enjoys golfing.
Meet Your Board Members Profile: Ag Today, Dec 12
By: Katie Rodgers