Growing California Agriculture Through Evolution and Adaptation
Just like so many others, I got my exposure to agriculture through my family’s farm. We were taught to respect the land and all it produced. Agriculture is a challenging and rewarding industry to be a part of. We are constantly adapting as no two years ever seem to be the same.
When Les Lyman asked me to join the company in 1991, we did business primarily out of two locations. It was a competitive marketplace, and our philosophy was to out service and out work our competitors. As growers got larger and more diversified, it challenged our business and opened new opportunities for us to grow with them. Our customers were creating the new frontier in agriculture, and our teamwork and collaboration at all levels helped us take risks, invest in the future, and ultimately grow our business.
The 80s brought new environmental regulations that we were not accustomed to dealing with and truly changed the way the marketplace operated. We knew we had to adjust to deal with the new regulations, so we and some other retailers in the area joined associations which lead to a stronger, more professional marketplace. It is times of industry collaboration that we put the common good of the agricultural community above ourselves and succeed together, and you still see that today.
As a company, we strive to adapt our business structure to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and the greater agriculture community. The state-of-the-art 60,000 tons dry and liquid fertilizer storage facility, Inland Terminal in Woodland, CA, is just one example of filling a void to help the whole industry. Before Inland Terminal was built, the closest Northern California bulk fertilizer storage location was the Stockton Port. However, this location was not geographically efficient enough to serve the growers growing demand as it meant more time in transit, increased freight cost and limited daily loads.
I am proud of what we have built as an organization, especially alongside the people I consider family. As we continue to grow, staying true to our family values will always be a priority. California agriculture is complex, but it is the resilience of the farmers and the people who support them that allows our industry to continue to push forward and feed our communities. We are committed to investing in our people, our community and our customers to ensure the next generation continues this proud legacy.