MADISON — Landmark tomato-grower Backyard Farms has named a new head grower to oversee the 42-acre greenhouse operation.

Tony Stevens will be in charge of the Madison growing operation. He has 18 years of greenhouse growing experience, according to a news release from the company.

The appointment comes as Backyard Farms also is marking 10 years of operation in Madison and is launching a website to highlight the company’s history with its first shipment to a Hannaford supermarket and to offer recipes and tips.

“The Head Grower position is an important, highly visible role in our greenhouse and a critical component of our leadership team,” Backyard Farms President Stuart Jablon said in a statement. “In addition to his proven track record of excellence and productivity, Tony shares our company values and understands our vision to be the most trusted brand in America. I’m confident in his ability to manage and develop our people as well as our crop and I look forward to seeing our company gain from his considerable experience and fresh perspective.”

Stevens was most recently a senior grower with Windset Farms in Santa Maria, California. He also held senior leadership positions at other commercial greenhouses, including hydroponic tomato producer Colorado Greenhouse, Eurofresh Farms and Nature Sweet Farms, according to the release.

“I’m excited to have been entrusted to maintain Backyard Farms’ reputation for excellence while exploring new ways to make our greenhouse as efficient and productive as possible.” Stevens said in a statement. “I truly admire the company-wide commitment to quality and taste.”

Stevens has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and agriculture business from the University of Wyoming. In 2005 he was recognized by Vortus Consulting as the top grower in North America.

Backyard Farms, which is the largest commercial grower of year-round tomatoes in New England, produces 25 to 30 million pounds of tomatoes annually from about 600,000 plants. It’s also the largest employer in Madison with its facility at 131 River Road, with about 200 employees.

The company has faced obstacles along the way, including a period of several months in 2013 when a whitefly infestation forced the greenhouse to cease operations temporarily and furlough employees.

Backyard Farms’ greenhouses are hydroponic, which means that nutrients are distributed to plants through a water-based system in which they grow. The greenhouses are kept between 69 to 72 degrees during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night.

The company grows several varieties of tomatoes that are sent to stores including Hannaford, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and Shaw’s.

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