Texas Association of Olive Oil (TXAOO) supports, promotes, and defends the growing, harvesting, processing, marketing and sale of Texas grown olive oil. TXAOO, through its members, coordinates all olive related activity in the State of Texas.
Texas Association of Olive Oil was established in 2016. TXAOO, working with the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas A&M AgriLife and the American Olive Oil Producers Association, combines all segments of the olive industry together in one organization which can effectively work to promote and develop the Texas olive oil industry.
Currently, Texas accounts for a very small percentage of olive oil production, with the majority of the commercial oils imported from Europe, and the bulk of American olive oil coming from California. However, the Texas industry is growing! Your support of Texas olive oil ensures continued growth and development of this industry in Texas.
Board of Directors
President – Cathy Bernell
My 12 years of experience in the Texas olive industry begins with one of the first olive orchards in Texas, extends to helping build the Texas olive industry infrastructure with the mobile olive mill and includes involvement and spearheading research projects, legislative initiatives and current positions of Texas Association of Olive Oil and Texas Olive Oil Advisory board(s). I look forward to bringing innovation, cooperation and growth to the Texas olive industry.
Vice-President – Michael Paz
Michael Paz is an honor graduate of Texas State University. He is General Manager of Texana Henrichson Ranch. His 136 acre olive orchard is located in LaSalle County.
Board Member – Christine McCabe
Owner, grower, producer for Lone Star Olive Ranch. I campaigned extensively for legislative action at the Capitol and met with congressional members seeking support for the Texas olive industry, and helped craft writing outlines for the interim charge. I work with new and existing growers to improve cultivation and management practices in Texas and Arizona.
Ad Hoc Board Member – Stephen Janak
Stephen Janak is an Extension Program Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, working on The Sustainable Fruit Project. This project aims to determine the sustainability and economic feasibility of perennial fruit crops while also working to improve and expand production in Texas. He has earned a BS degree from Texas A&M University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Horticulture. Stephen has been working closely with the olive industry since 2018, developing educational programs and working directly with olive growers to solve horticulture-related problems and provide advice. He also conducts the Texas Coordinated Olive Variety Trial, which tests 19 different olive varieties, and conducts on-farm olive research projects.