Q: What was your path into farming?
Growing up, I worked on our farm in the peaches during the summer. In high school I worked at the nearby peach delivery station and had an interest in agriculture. Although I did not originally go to U.C. Davis to study ag economics, I found that those were the classes that were the most interesting to me, so I decided to follow that direction. When my dad passed away while I was in college, I started managing our family’s farm, and the rest flowed from there.
Q: What skills have you gained since college?
While I was in college, I had the unique opportunity to take course work that correlated with my job as a farm manager, instead of just going to school and then trying to remember what I learned in college later. After college, while managing our farm, I also worked as an almond buyer and gained a significant amount of practical information about fruit and nut sales and marketing. Working full-time for someone else also gave me valuable insight into effective communication and managing my family’s business.
Q: What are the biggest challenges ahead?
On our farm, family relationships have a higher priority than work, so one of the biggest challenges in the future of our farm, run by women, will be balancing growing families and responsibly running a demanding business.
TJ Mullinax joined Good Fruit Grower as digital producer and photojournalist in 2013. He photographs and edits visual stories for the print magazine and online publishing spaces. Along with editorial production, TJ develops and maintains the magazine’s digital products. -- Follow the author: Phone: (509) 853-3519 -- Email