Gabrielle Kirkland and Doug Hemly pictured at one of Greene and Hemly's pear orchards.

Q & A: Doug Hemly

Who:

Doug Hemly, President and CEO of Greene and Hemly, Inc.

Farms:

Apples, pears and kiwi as well as packs and ships fruit.

Farming Start:

Doug was born into a farming family, but he did not plan to go into farming. He attended college in Southern California with an aspiration to become a professional that worked in an office setting. But that changed mid-wa through college with Doug had a profound experience during his drive from Southern California to his family’s home along the Delta — just outside of Sacramento. Find out about the moment that he decided to pursue a career in farming and become a sixth-generation farmer.

Philosophy as an Ag employer:

Doug values his employees by describing them as fulfilling an important role at Greene and Hemly, Inc. He said it’s critical that each employee understand their value in contributing toward the success of the business. For Greene and Hemly, this starts with providing a safe and positive work environment, as well as applicable education and training so that employees have the tools to be successful. For full-time, year-round employees, they receive housing and paid utilities and the company commits to keep the home in the best condition for the employee and their families. Greene and Hemly own about two dozen homes. Employees also have access to profit sharing, health insurance, paid holidays, overtime.

Stewards of the land:

Doug learned the meaning of “environment” as a boy listening to his dad share farming stories. He had an awareness at a young age that cultivated a mindset focused on working in tandem with the land, and not against it. Secondly, their operation is located along the Sacramento Delta giving Doug a deeper understanding about the water systems in California. Integrated pest management (IPM) was one of the first priorities that Doug took on after graduating college. Integrated pest management includes a variety of techniques when combating pest and disease. Some examples include modifying cultural practices, using “good bugs” or planting foilage that would discourage certain pests. The pear industry was one of the first industry in production agriculture to assemble IPM strategies for their crop which served as a template for other commodities.

 

Read Doug’s full story Fifth Generation Delta Pear Farmer

 

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