When you were little you probably had many dreams and aspirations. While as unconventional as it may seem, for brothers David and Scott Phippen and their cousin Bud Travaille, their dream was always about becoming successful almond producers. Farming is a lifestyle, especially when you grow up working on a farm much like this trio did. It takes hard work and dedication to produce a product worthy of selling to the public. Even during times of doubt, the trio relied on their family and, more importantly, each other for support to get through the toughest days. You see, during the early 80s the trio didn’t know if the almond business would even survive. With little money in the bank, exhaustion setting in, they needed a plan to forge on. With a new vision and newly built almond sheller they went forward, and boy did their business take off. Today we introduce you to their story, so you can see how far they’ve come!
Four generations ago, Travaille and Phippen, Inc. began as a small family farm operation in Ripon, California growing both almonds and wine grapes. By the 90s they were booming and had transitioned their focus to almonds only.
Bud Travaille, David Phippen and Scott Phippen expanded the operation to include hulling and shelling as well as almond processing. This expansion led them to moving the facility to the Ripon-Manteca area where it still operates today, as well as adding in the process of taking off the shell of the almonds. Today, they hull and shell approximately 30 million pounds of almonds a year as well as process and ship up to 40 million pounds a year. In 2009, they made the decision to implement more sustainable efforts. They began by installing an acre of solar panels on the farm. Less than a decade later in 2018, they updated the solar panels and also added processing robots!
Today, Travaille & Phippen have around 60 full time employees during the regular season and 75 employees during harvest to help support their dream. They truly are growers, hullers, shellers, processors, packers and shippers of California Grown Almonds. It is not an understatement to say that they do it all.
Today, the team at Travaille & Phippen, Inc. voluntarily utilize the SureHarvest (a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc.) Farming MIS software system that allows them to track their sustainability efforts over time to allow for continuous improvement. This software helps growers share and learn best practices within the industry while improving efficiencies in a sustainable manner. Consumers want to know more and more about how their food is grown, and if it is being grown both responsibly and sustainably.
Why track their sustainability efforts?
Travaille & Phippen, Inc. wants you to know your almonds are grown sustainably. Farming has become highly technical, which has allowed Travaille & Phippen, Inc. to elevate their sustainability efforts. They use special tools for drip irrigation to ensure the trees and soil are well cared for while also ensuring they are watering their trees responsibly and efficiently. Every aspect of their business is strategically cared for by their team. Being a family business, they understand the need to provide quality products for your family, which is why they know tracking and measuring their sustainability efforts is important.. Be sure to check out our next Where Food Comes From Storybit ideo that features Travaille & Phippen, Inc. next week for a behind the scenes look at this booming almond business.