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Growing Together Summer 2019

It’s a Team Effort for Dixon Grower Craig Gnos

Craig Gnos, Grow West Customer

Craig Gnos knows the buck stops with him, but he says it’s a team effort on his 4,500 acre operation. Gnos partners closely with Grow West® PCAs, setup crew and technical service team to ensure he’s making the best choices possible when it comes to managing his farm near Dixon where he grows processing tomatoes, alfalfa and almond trees, as well as sun flowers, watermelon, cucumbers and squash for seed.

“I’m a full-service grower, meaning Grow West helps me manage everything and delivers right to the tractor. The more eyes we have on it, the better. It only takes one mistake and our crops are lost. I put a lot of faith in the people I do business with.”

That level of trust and partnership comes from nearly three decades of Gnos doing business with Grow West, formerly Growers Ag Service. Gnos is a third-generation grower who joined the family business in 1992, and before him, Gnos’s father was doing business with the company.

Gnos calls himself hands-on and considers the Grow West employees he works with – Alexis Harvey, PCA/CCA and Robert Imbach, Retail Division Manager/PCA – members of his team. He credits them with watching his fields closely and offering him some peace of mind in a stressful and demanding industry. Gnos says his Grow West team is conscientious and provides him sound research and recommendations, with reliable access to product and equipment.

Over the last three generations of his family’s involvement in California agriculture, Gnos and his family have seen sizable changes in the industry. His grandfather started out as a dairy farmer and began the transition to row crops after he experienced hip problems resulting from the demanding physicality of dairy farming. Additionally, Gnos is a board member of Farm Credit Bank, where they finance more than 200 different kinds of commodities that run the spectrum of production practices and needs.

“I think of almonds as a laid-back crop to grow,” says Gnos, compared to the diversity of crops within his own operation and in his area. “And then we have tomatoes, where everything has to be done yesterday and there’s always something going on.” That diversity is what keeps it interesting, according to Gnos.

But what ultimately brings Gnos the most pleasure in his work is the same thing most growers have cited for generations – being in the field. “I enjoy looking out at my crops, nice perfect little soldiers out there with no weeds. I take pride in doing a nice job for my customers,” says Gnos. “We jump through fiery hoops for them to produce a quality product.

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