Second-gen farmer nurtures his California land for future generations
Stuart Woolf, a second-generation farmer in California’s Central Valley, shares his deep passion for farming and sustainable agriculture.
Woolf Farming Company, established by Stuart Woolf’s father in 1974, focuses on specialty crops unique to California, including almonds, pistachios, wine grapes, and processing tomatoes. The latter, Roma tomatoes, are particularly crucial for producing processed products like ketchup and pizza sauces. Notably, Woolf Farming not only cultivates these tomatoes but also operates a tomato processing plant, ensuring control over crop quality and production.
Despite California’s near-ideal climate for growing tomatoes, the state’s growers confront various challenges. Stuart Woolf’s farm, like many others, faces water scarcity, a pressing issue in a region with increasing droughts and water restrictions. Woolf’s primary mission is to optimize land that cannot be irrigated due to water limitations, prompting him to explore innovative solutions.
One of Woolf Farming’s forward-thinking strategies involves harnessing solar energy. Stuart Woolf and his team have started leasing parts of their land to solar developers, turning unused acreage into a source of income. This renewable energy source is seen as a way to diversify the farm’s revenue streams while contributing to a sustainable future.
For Stuart Woolf, sustainability and regenerative agricultural practices are paramount. His commitment extends beyond the present, as he envisions passing on a legacy of land to the next generation in better condition than received. By evolving farming practices and focusing on soil health, Woolf Farming Company is not only thriving today but also preparing for a more sustainable and prosperous future.