Barbara Grimm-Marshall believes that personal and business success is most often achieved not through chance but through determination and effort. With hard work and educational attainment, combined with the right opportunities, everyone can realize their respective dreams and fullest potential. Barbara knows that service and social innovation are essential elements in strengthening our communities and enhancing others’ chances to succeed.
Co-owner of Grimmway Enterprises, the world’s largest grower, packer and shipper of fresh, processed and frozen carrots and co-owner of Cal-Organic Farms, the largest organic farming operation in the state of California, Barbara represents the quintessential American story. She proudly embraces the rich roots of her agricultural heritage which began in California’s Imperial Valley.
Growing up in Brawley, California, and spending her early years on a family farm, Barbara learned first hand the value of dedication and effort in determining a family’s success. Her experiences there were the genesis of a work ethic that continues today as she strives to better her community through a variety of philanthropic activities emphasizing educational opportunities for children in Kern County.
Barbara believes that education and personal development are lifelong pursuits. She earned her B.A. from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and worked her way through law school, receiving a degree from Western State University of Law in Fullerton, California. She is a former staff member to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and to the late Congressman Victor Veysey. More recently, she was appointed to serve on the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth by Governor Schwarzenegger and served on the Board of Directors for Tejon Ranch Corporation.
Barbara is also immersed in community service as evidenced by her time given to numerous organizations in Kern County the past 25 years. She has overseen the philanthropy efforts of Grimmway Enterprises for the last 15 years including a Scholarship Program. She has also served on the boards of Lori Brock Children’s Museum, American Red Cross, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Concordia University and California State University Foundation. Barbara currently serves as President of the Rod Grimm Family Foundation overseeing the Foundation’s Christian-based giving efforts at local, national and global levels. In this capacity, she also is responsible for the distribution of funds to develop and implement scholastic, athletic, and music programs at a variety of public and secondary schools including Bakersfield College, California State University, Bakersfield and Concordia University in Irvine, California.
Realizing the importance of education as a key component of future success and seeing a need within her own community, Barbara founded and serves as the CEO of the Grimm Family Education Foundation. The Foundation’s main objectives are two-fold:
- First, through its charter school, Grimmway Academy, located in Arvin, California, it sets out to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that will prepare them for academic success and future endeavors. Grimmway Academy fosters an innovative environment for children to excel by offering certified teachers, limited class size and individual attention for its students. By offering parents a choice and students a robust curriculum, academic achievement will flourish.
- And second, the Foundation’s Edible Schoolyard program was established and set in motion to provide children in Kern County with a hands-on learning experience in a unique garden and kitchen classroom setting. The first garden, the Buena Vista Edible Schoolyard, was established in Bakersfield, California, and our second Edible Schoolyard just opened September 2012 at Grimmway Academy in Arvin, California. The program provides an opportunity for children to develop a love for eating fresh seasonal produce and learn how to incorporate sound nutritional choices into their diets, thereby creating healthy habits that will last a lifetime. The garden experience allows students, through their collective efforts, to watch a seedling grow into something healthy and delicious to eat. Barbara knows that such innovative programs are well suited to encourage healthier eating and active lifestyle choices that will provide children and young adults with the keys to future success.
Barbara and the Grimm Family Education Foundation remain devoted to the community’s most precious resource—our children and the importance of mentoring the next generation. Barbara believes there is nothing more important than the education and enrichment of our children, for their own personal success and for more vibrant communities to flourish. Through the Foundation, she hopes to make a difference in children’s lives that will have a lasting, positive impact on their futures.