David Snell wasn’t born into farming. Instead, his father Galen left a career as a university professor and started growing almond trees near McFarland in the south end of California’s Central Valley in 1976. David helped out on the farm during his college breaks and became a partner with his father after graduation. They joined Blue Diamond in 1978, partly because the cooperatives’ owners are all farmers like themselves.
“We have been strong believers in co-ops all along, and we’re happy with Blue Diamond’s leadership in the almond industry,” David says.
In the arid Central Valley, David and his father know how precious water is, and they give the trees just what they need to produce the best quality nuts. They also use integrated pest management, which encourages good bugs that eat bad bugs. In addition, David and his father are sticklers for food safety and delivering a wholesome product to the consumer.
“We do everything we can to keep our orchards clean,” he says.
And David jokes that he’s probably one of their best customers.
“I eat at least a handful every day--either raw natural or roasted in the oven without any oil,” he says. “Almonds are probably one of the best sources of a lot of nutrients and protein that we can eat.”