Michael Bosworth is the latest in a long family farming history at Rue & Forsman Ranch, which started operations in 1946 in Sutter County about 10 miles south of Marysville.
After earning a Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics at UC Davis, Michael returned to his family farm, which produces both conventional and organic rice.
He created and operates Next Generation Foods, a growing business that provides locally grown foods to businesses throughout Northern California.
In his spare time, Michael enjoys fly-fishing, the outdoors and spending time with wife, Suzanne, his family, and his dog, Drake.
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After completing his college education, Peter Rystrom is happily back at work as a fourth-generation farmer in Butte County. Working alongside his father Steve, grandfather Don, Uncle Gary and several cousins, this family has a century-long tradition of rice farming in the Sacramento Valley.
After graduating from UC Davis with an International Relations and Spanish double major, he worked with Community Enterprise Solutions in Guatemala and lead tours across the United States for Trek America.
Peter enjoys the change in seasons on the farm and the freedom of being outside all day.
When he’s not on the farm, he enjoys backpacking trips into the mountains as well as world travel. Other passions include being involved in the lives of others through church small groups and friendships, both at home and abroad.
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Nicole Van Vleck
Nicole Montna Van Vleck is a third generation rice farmer who farms with her parents and sister in Sutter County. Nicole is Managing Partner of Montna Farms which grows, dries and stores super premium short grain rice. Montna Farms partners with many waterfowl organizations to protect and enhance waterfowl habitat primarily on its working rice lands.
Nicole is a graduate of UCLA and The California Agricultural Leadership Program. Nicole and her husband Stan have two school-aged children.
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Dennis Lindberg has grown rice in Butte County for more than 70 consecutive years. He’s a well-known author and metal artist, taking scrap metal and creating beautiful animal sculptures. His civic work and love of community is evidenced by his being honored as “Outstanding Citizen of the 20th Century” by Lundberg Family Farms. He and his wife Charlotte have two children – Gary and Sherry. Gary farms with his father in the historic community of Richvale, which recently celebrated its centennial.
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Sandy Denn and her husband Wally own and operate Snow Goose Farms near Willows in Glenn County. She holds a law degree and has served on numerous boards and committees dealing with water in the North State. Sandy and Wally have six grown children. Her passions include hunting and fishing, and she used to fly a hot air balloon and a stunt plane for relaxation.
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Tom Butler farms rice with his father, Steve, in Sutter and Yolo Counties. Tom is the fourth generation of his family to farm.
When he’s not on the job, the University of Nebraska graduate enjoys swimming, water polo, hunting and spending time with his family.
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Riley "Punch" Haskell
Punch Haskell grows rice in Colusa County and is part of a family farming operation that began approximately 60 years ago.
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Lauren LaGrande is the latest in a family farming tradition that began nearly 100 years ago. While at Maxwell High School she was active in FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, volleyball, basketball and softball. She graduated from Oregon State University and has been accepted into the masters program at Texas Tech University. When she’s on the farm, you’ll often see her with her trusted companion, Hank, the family dog. Lauren’s great-grandfather grew his first rice crop in the Sacramento Valley in 1916 and the family has continued this tradition ever since.
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Fifth-generation farmer Charley Mathews is continuing a family a legacy that began in the 1850s. Their first rice fields were planted in the 1940s and are still going strong in Yuba County. Charley is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He and his wife Hilliary have two sons, Parker and Adam.
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Josh Sheppard is proud to be part of the fourth generation of his family that have been farming rice in Butte County for many generations.
After receiving degrees in Agribusiness and Water Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1997, he returned to the 3,000 acre family rice operation with his parents, a brother, and a sister. Josh and his wife, Kathryn, have two children.
When he’s not on the farm, he enjoys time as a volunteer for the California Waterfowl Association and his children's youth basketball programs.
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Sean Doherty is a 3rd generation rice farmer living out his dream, being a rice farmer in Dunnigan.
He farms in Yolo, Colusa, and Sutter Counties with his wife Melissa, and three kids, Hannah, Gus, and Mary. He enjoys being in the fields, watching the seasons, and sharing it with his family. Read more about Sean in Rice Farming magazine
Mike Daddow Farming in Sutter and Yolo Counties, Mike is the fourth generation of his family to grow rice in California. His great grandfather served as an engineer in Natomas and is credited with helping lay out the irrigation system for the region. Mike graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with two Bachelor of Science Degrees. He and his wife Susan have three boys – Max, Sam and Alex - who all help out on the farm when they can. When he isn’t growing rice, Mike puts his pilot’s license to good use.
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Mike DeWit, along with his father Jack, grow rice in Sutter, Yolo and Sacramento Counties.
He and his wife Trucie have two children, Jacob, who is severely autistic and living at a special school for autism in San Jose and daughter Debra, who attends Biola University in Southern California.
He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. While not farming, he enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.
“I feel blessed to do what I do,” Mike said. “It’s not work if you love what you do for a living.”
Chris Crutchfield is very proud to represent the third generation of his family to be involved in the rice industry. Currently Chris is involved in all aspects of California rice from production all the way to the grocery store shelf.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Missouri in 1996, Chris moved back to California and joined with his father Paul Crutchfield in the formation of a rough rice pool for direct marketing to Turkey. Chris was responsible for the day-to-day management of the pool. That partnership developed into the formation of American Commodity Company (ACC) in 2000, and Chris assumed all direct management responsibilities for ACC.
Prior to establishing himself in the California rice industry, Chris worked in the press offices of Governor Pete Wilson as his Assistant Press Secretary. He also briefly taught secondary education in the California public school system.
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Brian Barrett is a third generation rice farmer from Maxwell. Upon graduation from California State University Chico with a degree in Agricultural Business, Brian worked briefly for Farmers' Rice Cooperative before going on to work as a Grain Merchandiser for ADM Rice. While working for ADM Rice Brian took night classes and earned his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix, graduating with honors.
Brian farms with his family in Colusa and with his wife, Amanda, in Placer County. Brian is involved in the rice industry on several boards and committees, and was recently selected to be a part of the 2012 Class of the Rice Leadership Development Program, where he is having the privilege to tour all of the rice growing states and learn leadership skills. Brian and his wife Amanda have a daughter, Peyton.
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Grant Lundberg is Chief Executive Officer of Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, Butte County.
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This fourth-generation family farmer has grown rice in Colusa County since 1980. Don has a long history of service to the community and agriculture, including nearly 30 years on the Board of Trustees and Governing Board for the Colusa Unified School District. He currently serves as President of the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District. Don’s interests include photography, as he enjoys capturing the majestic wildlife often seen in his rice fields. Don and his wife Diane have four children.
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Brian McKenzie proudly represents the fourth generation of rice farmers in his family. Following his graduation in 2005 from The University of Nevada Reno where he earned bachelors degrees in Economics and Marketing, Brian returned to the family farm in South Sutter County to farm full-time alongside his father, Chris. Brian and his wife, Ashley, grow several varieties of conventional and organic rice. Brian enjoys the challenges that farming brings and takes pride in producing food for the world.
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Kim Gallagher is a multigenerational farmer in Colusa and Yolo Counties. As part of Erdman Farms she continues diversified farming alongside her husband, Pat, and her brother-in-law, Rob Meyer, carrying on what her parents, Jim and Marilyn Erdman, established.
She enjoys the seasonality of farming as it reminds her of the years teaching high school Biology. Her favorite time of the year is spring planting when new crops come to life.
Conservation and good stewardship were part of Kim’s education on the farm and at St. Mary’s College. As a result, Kim and her husband along with their boys, Sean and Alex have planted acres of hedgerows and pollinator habitats around their farm hoping to pass down sustainability practices to the next generation.
When Kim is not at the farm she enjoys traveling and running. She can sometimes be seen running around her rice fields when she is training for a marathon.
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From a young age, deep agricultural roots have been instilled in me. Growing up in South Sutter County, the heart of rice country, is a privilege most never see in a lifetime. As a college student studying international agriculture development, my goal is to continue developing agriculture production not only in the United States, but also in countries all over the world. I’m currently attending Sierra College and plan to transfer to UC Davis to finish my studies. I believe that the greatest aspect of agriculture is the ability to learn something new every day, and that is why I am an advocate for agriculture education.
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Everett Willey is excited to be the fourth generation to work on his family's rice farm in Sutter County. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where he received a degree in agricultural science. Working alongside his dad, Steven, Everett is learning what it means to be a conscientious employer and grower for the rice industry. During the winter months, he enjoys hunting and managing their small duck club.