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T.C. Tucker

T. C. Tucker
On November 15, 1928, T. C. Tucker made the first radio address on a transcontinental train trip to New York in the United States about grower tariffs. Standing next to Tucker is his daughter, Thelma, who would become the first image used to advertise Blue Diamond Almonds.
Welcome to the T.C. Tucker Collection. Founder J.P. Dargitz hired Tucker as the accountant for the California Almond Growers Exchange in 1912, shortly after the cooperative was formed. On Dargitz's recommendation, Tucker was sent "on a trip East to interview the trade, select brokers, sell what he could and thus get our machinery in shape to close up this crop and get ready for the next." The board agreed, Tucker promptly packed for an extensive tour of potential markets and thus began the rise of T.C. Tucker as a businessman and innovative industry leader for the Exchange.

The Tucker era began as the Exchange closed out its third successful crop year. In February 1913, Tucker reported to the board that the membership had been paid in full, that the cooperative would enter the new crop year with its first surplus of $700 on the books, and that the association's bank, encouraged by three years of successful operations, had agreed to new, more favorable terms - terms that Tucker welcomed, because "interest expense was one of our heaviest items."

Working with an equally committed board of directors, Tucker expanded the market for Blue Diamond almonds and pioneered an industry leading processing and manufacturing facility. He promoted the brand at every opportunity and in innovative ways, and personally cultivated customers coast-to-coast. He experimented with new products, packaging and market channels. He developed a relationship with state and federal government officials that served the cooperative well on issues of importance to the membership. He fought hard to lower freight rates on California almonds to better compete with lower cost imports in eastern markets. He spent thousands of hours on the road promoting cooperation among growers and helping form new associations of members.

With Tucker at the helm as general manager for 23 years, the members of the California Almond Growers Exchange powered their cooperative from wide-eyed infancy through a shaky adolescence, into self-confident maturity and leadership in the almond processing and marketing industry.

This collection of photos and other memorabilia was made available to Blue Diamond by T.C. Tucker's grandson, Charles Robert "Bob" Connelly and his great-granddaughter, Cheryl Starch, who live in the foothills off Highway 50 above Sacramento, California."