Celebrating its first anniversary as an employee-owned company, Salinas, Calif.-based Tanimura & Antle has contributed $21.7 million to its Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Tanimura & Antle created the plan in February 2017, under Rick Antle’s leadership, to “recognize the company’s greatest asset, its employees,” according to a news release.

“Tanimura & Antle was built on a culture of respect, partnerships and relationships with our employees and customers,” Tanimura & Antle’s CEO Scott Grabau said in the release.

“I cannot think of a better way to maintain and build upon the culture that has made us so successful than by putting the rewards back into the employee’s pockets.”

The company’s board of directors approved the contribution, which allocates stock shares to eligible employees valued at almost 18% of employee eligible wages earned in 2017, according to the release.

The majority of the contribution goes to Tanimura & Antle’s farm and harvest employees, according to the release, since they make up most of the company’s workforce, though it is available to all eligible employees.

Read more at The Packer