Wayne Brandt, corporate president of Brandt Farms, Inc., with Gabrielle Kirkland.

Wayne Brandt Q & A

Who:

Wayne Brandt, Corporate President of Brandt Farms, Inc., and a fourth generation grower. Wayne is a marketing entrepreneur of a vertically-integrated farming operation in Reedley, CA. Community advocate through leadership and volunteer service with the Reedley Lions Club. He also served on the Board and as Chairman for the following three organizations: California Fresh Fruit Association (Fresno, CA), Palm Village Retirement Community (Reedley, CA), and California Tree Fruit Agreement’s Peach Committee (Reedley, CA).

Farms:

600 acres of peaches, plums, nectarines, persimmons, grapes, citrus, grapes,  and pluots.

Farming start:

Wayne was raised in a farming family. He learned the farming business from all aspects — field, sales, packing — but took a thoughtful approach to determine whether the family business was the right fit for him. Wayne observed how his family farmed and asked a lot of questions. He learned that each family member had their strength, such as his great-grandfather who was successful buying and selling cattle, and father who was an expert in getting a high quality pack of fruit to the market. For Wayne, his strength was in the marketing arena. So he surrounded himself with people who were experts in farming while Wayne focused his energy on building relationships with supermarkets that distinguished themselves from other retailers with a superior produce department.  In the early 1990s, Brandt Farms initiated the tree ripe tree fruit program which has been key to the company’s success today.

Philosophy as an ag employer:

As a smaller-sized integrated farming enterprise, the farming business’s philosophy is to pay employee’s the right wage on time, every time. Brandt Farms treats its employees well because it is a priority. Employees know which employers take care of them, and when push comes to shove, Wayne believes the employers who pay well will be the ones that have labor. Brandt Farms has never paid their employee or farm labor contractor late.

Stewards of the land:

Caring for the land with the use of sustainable practices has been instrumental to produce fruit quality that supports a level of fruit maturity that the company ships at. Some practices include: treating the soil with cover crop, compost and foliar nutrients in order to produce high quality fruit.

Message on a fruit label:

“Healthy,” “Eating enjoyment,” or “Makes you want to eat more.”

For Wayne’s profile click here

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