Blogger Profiles

  • Michael Bosworth

    Michael Bosworth

    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.

    View Michael's Blog
  • Peter Rystrom

    Peter Rystrom

    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 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.

    View Nicole's Blog
  • Dennis Lindberg

    Dennis Lindberg

    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

    Sandy Denn

    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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  • Sandy Denn

    Tom Butler

    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.

    View Tom's Blog
  • Riley "Punch" Haskell

    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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  • Sandy Denn

    Lauren LaGrande

    Lauren LaGrande is the latest in a family farming tradition that began nearly 100 years ago. SWhile at Maxwell High School she was active in FFA, Future Business Leaders of America, volleyball, basketball and softball. She now attends Oregon State 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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  • Charley Mathews

    Charley Mathews

    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

    Josh Sheppard

    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.

    View Josh's Blog
  • Sean Doherty

    Sean Doherty

    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

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  • Mike Daddow

    Mike Daddow

    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

    Mike DeWit

    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.”

    View Mike's Blog
  • Debra DeWit

    Debra DeWit

    Debra DeWit: "I grew up in Davis and have been around both my grandpa’s and dad’s rice farms most of my life. My grandpa was the one that started farming and passed the tradition on to my dad. My dad farms rice in Yolo County and my grandpa farms rice in Sutter, Yolo and Sacramento Counties. I enjoy talking to my dad and grandpa about their days in the fields and gaining more knowledge about the crop and the business. Currently, my family and I live in Davis, and I go to the high school there. I like to hang out with friends, write, draw, go hunting with my dad and my grandpa, teach Sunday school and going to youth group."

    View Debra's Blog
  • Debra DeWit

    Chris Crutchfield

    President and CEO -- American Commodity Company

    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

    Brian Barrett

    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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  • Brice Lauppe

    Brice Lauppe

    Brice is the fourth generation from his family to be involved in the California rice industry. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is currently a Field Representative for Farmers’ Rice Cooperative. Brice is an active member of the USA Rice Leadership Development Program. He and his wife, Leslie, have three wonderful children, Brynn, Blake, and Cole. In his spare time, Brice enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf and basketball, and coaching his kids' sports teams.

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  • Brendan O’Donnell

    Brendan O'Donnell

    Brendan O’Donnell is Vice President, Sales at The Sun Valley Rice Company, LLC, which mills, packages and markets premium California rice both domestically and around the world. He is the Fifth generation of his family to be involved in California agriculture and has been marketing and promoting California rice since 2007. He is a graduate of UC Davis with a B.S. in Agricultural Systems and Environment and Communications. Brendan is also an active member of the Rice Leadership Development Program. When he’s not selling rice, Brendan enjoys golfing, skiing and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Erin have Two children, Bridget and Liam.

    View Brendans's Blog
  • Grant Lundberg

    Grant Lundberg

    Grant Lundberg is Chief Executive Officer of Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, Butte County.

    View Grant's Blog
  • Grant Lundberg

    Steve Butler

    Steve Butler farms rice with his son, Tom, in Sutter and Yolo Counties. They are the latest in a four-generation family commitment to farming.

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  • Grant Lundberg

    Don Bransford

    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.

    View Don's Blog
  • Kelby Sheppard

    Kelby Sheppard

    Kelby farms rice with his father John, brother Josh and sister Jonna in Butte County. He's very proud to be a fourth generation rice farmer. In addition to farming rice, Kelby owns and operates Sheppard Land Leveling and enjoys leveling fields, building pads, ponds and enhancing habitat. When not on the farm he serves as one of the Board of Directors for the Butte County Farm Bureau. He and his wife Jolene along with their two daughters Gracie and Carlee enjoy boating, going to the cabin and vacationing near the ocean.

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  • Jessica Lundberg

    Jessica Lundberg

    Jessica Lundberg chairs the Board of Directors of Lundberg Family Farms, the United States’ leading producer of organic rice and rice products. A member of the Lundberg family’s third generation, she also manages the seed nursery, overseeing the maintenance, purity and development of their proprietary rice varieties.

    The Lundbergs have practiced sustainable farming techniques since 1937 and today the company leads the eco-positive agricultural movement with a commitment to organic production and renewable energy.

    Jessica manages Lundberg Family Farms as a true family business, collaborating with her father, uncles, cousins, and siblings to reach consensus on key business decisions. A pre-med student in college, Jessica’s interest in business, ecology and agriculture inevitably drew her back to the farm, where, in addition to organic and eco-farmed rice, she cultivates the bedrock values of respecting the land, honoring tradition, and producing the highest quality products. Jessica holds a degree in Biological Sciences from California State University at Chico and a certificate in Plant Breeding from University of California at Davis. She makes her home in Chico near the family farm.

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  • Don Traynham

    Don Traynham

    Being involved in the rice industry is more a lifestyle than a job for Don Traynham. In addition to growing rice in the Sacramento Valley, primarily in Colusa County, Don serves as Field Representative for Sun Valley Rice Company. He and his wife Jennifer have two daughters – Allison and Whitney. Don is a graduate of Chico State University, with a degree in Agricultural Business.

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  • Marc Breckenridge

    Marc Breckenridge

    Marc Breckenridge grew up on a family rice operation in Woodland and has been involved in the California rice industry his entire life. He has worked as Farm Manager at Lundberg Family Farms since 2007. He enjoys the challenges and rewards that organic farming brings and also loves knowing that every day brings something new in this industry. Marc is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a degree in agricultural business. When he is not on the farm he enjoys traveling, volunteering for organizations such as Active 20/30 and enjoying numerous outdoor activities.

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  • Brian McKenzie

    Brian McKenzie

    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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