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Phil Brown Welding officially started business in 1964, after some years as an unofficial provider of specialized fruit industry equipment.

“My dad was a fruit grower,” Phil said. “We started building machines for our use, and then began building stuff for the neighbors. It just got out of hand.”

His brother, Vince, who early on worked with Phil, took over the family farm, and Phil continued with the company he founded. The company builds about 35 machines on a regular basis and has 18 people on the payroll. Personnel include Phil’s wife, Dorothy, two sons, Brian and David, and daughter, Melissa. Melissa helps run day-to-day operations, and Brian and David are involved in design and manufacture of new equipment.

In addition to the man-positioning systems like the Brownie, a three-wheeled, hydrostatically driven swing boom bucket with pedal controls that leaves hands free for pruning or picking, the company has the Brownie II platform system, a box shuttle, brush sweepers and pushers, a box handler and dumper, a peach blossom thinner, and other machines.

The company also builds for the greenhouse and nursery industries and for wineries, building conveyors and sorting tables and working extensively in stainless steel.