after college and looking for a job in the financial sector, but I ended up coming back and taking over farming on the home ranch.” He began with leafy greens in the field and soon helped the company vertically integrate with the addition of new entities. He stayed focused on the family business and claims that he has limited outside hobbies…at least until children entered the picture. Rod and his wife, Niki, have three children in their lives, including 15-year-old Skyler, 10-year-old Sebastian and eight-year-old Sterling. “I’ve never had too many hobbies, but now my free time is taken up with the kids. All of them play sports. So, if I’m not working, I’m probably involved in soccer, football or basketball. And we also love skiing as a family.” The 3 rd & 4 th Braga Generation : Rod leads a group of four in his generation of the family tree involved in the company. His brother, Chris, runs the shop, while cousin Marshall is in charge of the food safety

department and cousin Carson oversees the harvesting operation. The 4 th generation is still young with the oldest in college and his grade school daughter rounding out the group. A couple in that generation have put in some time in the office or on the ranch but it is way too early to see who might make it into the company as it approaches its 100 th anniversary later this decade. The Future of Agriculture in California : Rod takes an interesting an optimistic view of the future of production agriculture in the Golden State. He acknowledges all the difficulties involved in running a business in California, but he sees that as an advantage for a many-decades-old- company like Braga Ranch. “All those difficulties are a heck of a barrier of entry. Who would try to start a new business here? On the other hand, we have the best land in the world and all the water we need here in the Salinas Valley. The future couldn’t be better!”



Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com

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