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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Peter Rystrom continues the family tradition as a fifth-generation rice farmer in the Richvale/Butte County area. He and his wife, Carissa, are blessed to get to work together with many other engaged family members on the farm.
His passion for farming does not stop at rice production, he also cares about conservation, wildlife habitat, and the future of California water. Peter earned his degrees in International Relations and Spanish from UC Davis. Outside of farming, Peter enjoys time with good friends, road tripping the American West, and working through his ever growing Audible book list.
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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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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 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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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.
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Kurt Richter is a third generation rice grower who farms acres with his family’s operation, Richter AG, in Colusa, Butte & Sutter Counties.
Kurt, and his wife Tosh, have one son, Max. When not on the farm, Kurt likes to travel urban landscapes with his family, and ride waves off the coast of Southern California.
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Rob Doornbos lives in Chico with his wife Kelly and their three children. He operates Tendoor Farms through which he and his brother-in-law farm roughly 1,200 acres of rice primarily located in Butte County (few hundred acres in Sutter County). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Rice Commission, the Rice Research Board, the Rice Experiment Station and serves on the Church Council of the Evangelical Free Church of Chico. Rob is the Founder and Owner ofWeather Tools LLCwhich he started in 2013. He received his B.Sc. (’90) and M.Sc. (’93), in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
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Matthew Sligar is a third-generation California rice farmer, husband to a supportive wife and daddy to two awesome children. He enjoys sharing my experiences both in and out of the rice fields on Rice Farming TV.
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Elise Nelson is an attorney focusing her practice on water and land use issues. With an early desire to practice water and agricultural law, she received her Bachelor's Degree from Loyola Marymount University and continued on to earn her Juris Doctorate from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law before being admitted to the California Bar. Elise’s husband Tristan is a 3rd generation rice farmer, and together they own and operate Nelson Family Farms in the Pleasant Grove and Nicolaus area where they grow medium grain rice. When not practicing law, Elise enjoys spending evenings and weekends helping Tristan at the farm, and spending time together with their two young children, Reagan and Colin.
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Jon Munger is a rice farmer and the Vice President of Operations with Montna Farms, in Yuba City. Montna Farms is a major grower of Japanese short grain specialty rice as well as a leader in working lands conservation.
He and his wife Alice have two children, Jack who is a Sophomore at Sutter High School and Jonathan (Jonny) who is an eighth grader at Brittan Elementary in Sutter.
Jon is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and enjoys, hunting, fishing, traveling and watching his sons play sports.