Dan Clendenin, a fourth-generation farmer and second-generation almond grower, has a simple goal—to produce the best possible almonds.
“We’re always aiming to get as high quality as we can,” says Dan, who farms near Merced in central California.
To help with his quest, Dan nurtures his almond trees, applying just the right amounts of water and nutrients. He also grows special flowering crops between the trees to attract beneficial insects, which feed on damaging pests.
Dan, a lifelong farmer, was growing tomatoes with his father Bill when they decided to switch to almonds in 1982. That same year, they joined Blue Diamond Growers. He says he prefers cooperatives because every member is part owner and has a voice in the business.
As a member of Blue Diamond, Dan also is rewarded by a program that encourages quality.
Even when Dan goes home at night, almonds aren’t far away because of their high nutritional value and many health benefits.
“We keep almonds on the counter all the time,” Dan says. “I snack on them when I’m waiting for dinner to get ready.”
And the way this almond grower likes them best? Oven roasted at home.