Grower-Owned Fertilizer Company
Lee Erickson farms with his father and brother in Madera. In addition to growing almonds, grapes, olives, pistachios, and prunes, the family also bought a speciality fertilizer business four years ago. Lee says they’d been using the product for several years and saw it as an opportunity to diversify.
Erickson… “It's always kinda been in my blood from what I've watched my dad do is diversify. And it kind of gives you a different perspective when you go and try to sell a product to a grower because I can sit there and tell them, Hey, come to our ranch. Look what we do, and let's compare. And you show me what you like and you tell me what I can do better, and I'll kind of tell you the same thing. And let's see if we can together be more successful at what we're trying to do.”
TEP, Inc. is the name of their fertilizer company. For Lee, the business in addition to their trucking company and farming are ways to create opportunities for future generations.
Erickson… “My whole goal is that this is here, and I have something built up that I can leave to my kids. My brother has kids. You know, my dad did the same thing. My dad's dad did the same thing for him. My dad's dad did the same thing for him. And every generation tried to make it better for the next generation. Overall, I think that's agriculture's big goal is to be true stewards of the ground and to leave it better than what you took it over for the next generation that you're going to have growing it. Whether it's through a fertilizer company that's grower- and family-owned. Whether it's our farm business. Whether it's our trucking company. Those are the kinds of things we're trying to push forward and grow off of.”