After three quarters of a century, Lundberg Family Farms is still dedicated to rice and family. They celebrated the milestone at Expo East in a room decorated with historical pictures of the company and the Lundberg family, as the current generation of company leaders mingled with guests with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on hand.
The company can trace its history to 1937, when Albert and Frances Lundberg moved to the Sacramento Valley in northern Calfornia from Nebraska, where the Dust Bowl had ravaged the soil. In the 1960s, the company began to cultivate the rice and produce the rice products for which they are now known. Grant Lundberg, president and CEO and Mark Lundberg, chairman of the board represent the third generation in the family owned company’s history, and they noted that members of the fourth generation are now joining the action.
With a history of organic growing practices as a background, the company has gone on to have products Non-GMO Project verified. It has a history of sustainable production as well, which sees the company protect the habitat of the migratory birds that frequent the Sacramento Valley. In Spring and Fall, the are provided a place to rest and eat, and in turn they fertilize the adobe clay used to grow Lundberg’s rice. The company may soon expand its product line, according to vice president of marketing Todd Kluger, into legumes and other grains. New, easier to use Velcro technology now featured on its bags of rice promise to keep the food fresh and improve the consumer experience.
Grant Lundberg, talking about his company’s history and where they are today, had this to say on the occasion. “It’s really exciting. I think it’s very powerful that we’re a family owned company. It was a dynamic that had to be worked on through the generations.” At 75 years and counting, Lundberg wants them to stay committed to the company culture they have developed.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012 (online 9-26-12)