About Us

Our People

Hank Auza

As General Manager of Barkley Company, Hank understands the value of cultivating a team of agricultural professionals that are dedicated to growing the finest fresh vegetables and fruits in the region. Though Hank grew up on the family farm, he officially began his career in June 1996 upon graduating from the University of Arizona, where he received his degree in production agriculture and agriculture business management. When Hank is not on the ranch you will find him enjoying the great outdoors, hunting, fishing or camping and enjoying the company of his wife Cori and his three wonderful children.  As Hank has been known to say when reflecting on his childhood and life in agriculture, “I grew up on the farm, playing in the dirt, riding tractors and spending time outdoors – what better life could you have?”

Chris Auza

Chris’ expertise blends technology management with harvesting management at Barkley Company. With his degree in Agricultural Technology from University of Arizona (2007) and having grown up in farming, Chris is able to put both skill sets to work for the company. As an Assistant Grower and Harvest Manager, he is responsible for winter vegetables, big bed and summer crops area-wide. His responsibilities in technology include, in large part, marrying the need of the farming operations with the harvesting operation while at the same time helping to integrate the two into the company-wide information technology and grower accounting systems. Chris and his wife Sam have a young but active family, and when not working they spend a great deal of time participating in or watching sports, particularly football.

Griselda Carrillo

Grower Account Specialist –
Coming Soon!

Rusty Shill

Rusty, born and raised in Yuma, joined the company in 2000 after 6 years with Texas Hill Farms. As Farm Manager, Rusty is responsible for the North Yuma Valley and east growing operations, consisting of row crops, winter vegetables and summer crops, specifically wheat, cotton, sudan and hay. When not on the ranch, he and his wife of 18 years, Brandy, are running their active children (two boys and one girl) between school and outside activities. In addition, his entire family enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including camping, fishing and hunting.

Alejandro Suarez

A seasoned agricultural veteran, Alejandro began his career in agriculture with Barkley in 1974 at the age of 16, and has remained in the industry and with the company ever since. Born in San Luis, Mexico; Alejandro moved to Yuma at the age of 21, as he knew Barkley was the company he wanted to build his career with. As an Assistant Farm Manager, Alejandro is responsible for growing operations in South Yuma Valley, south of County 16. A family man at heart, Alejandro and wife of 38 years, Maria Guadalupe, enjoy a variety of outdoors activities and especially enjoy traveling to the Flagstaff area, where they can take advantage of the multitude of camp grounds as well as access to the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest.

Gabe Castillo

Shop Foreman – Coming soon!

Janessa Thelander

With food safety being one of the most important issues facing the fresh produce industry worldwide, the Barkley Company is fortunate to have Janessa Thelander as their Food Safety Manager. Janessa started with Barkley Seed in 1996 after receiving double degrees in both Microbiology and Plant Science from the University of Arizona in 1995. At that time Janessa was managing the entire laboratory testing program for Barkley Seed, with the primary focus on fungal testing. In 2003, she was splitting her time between Barkley Seed and Barkley Company, as the focus of the produce industry was shifting to food safety. The industry changes created an opportunity to dedicate her time and efforts full time to Barkley Company in 2006, where she has worked ever since. Janessa gets a tremendous amount of fulfillment from her work due to the continual evolution of good agricultural practices and the collaboration with all segments of the industry. With a young and busy family, she and her husband Matt have three active children involved in activities ranging from martial arts to ballet to 4-H, to name but a few. The family enjoys traveling and spending time together.

Kelsey Colvin

Accounting Manager –
Coming Soon!