DOUG BRUNNER

AGC Founder

The Ag Center is deeper than a piece of property-its concept was built long before its structure took shape on Highway 59. 

Growing up as a dairyman, I knew very little about farming. My curiosity led me to learn more and essentially started my first company, DCB Farming. Little did I know farming was to lay the foundation of my future and the cornerstone of what has become The Ag Center. 
 

Starting my own business was not easy. It took leaning on my family values, a lot of resources and trial and error (to say the least). I was fortunate to be raised with a history of family experience in the agricultural industry and attribute my early successes to the strong mentors in my life: my father who taught me the values of hard work; a grandfather who was a pioneer of his time and my father in-law, who is exceptionally creative and has a futuristic mindset that built an empire. The start-up experience of DCB Farming shifted my whole perspective on how to do business and who to grow businesses with.
 

Within two years, I started another business that coincided with my other companies and created a synergism. In creating and sustaining these incredible partnerships-combined with God’s will-we were able to grow exponentially into the Ag Center-bringing together partners and affiliates who are able to streamline each other’s work. We all have the same mission, that of one to create a fun and hardworking atmosphere. We support people to be successful in their craft. One of the greatest fulfillments in creating the Ag Center is watching the incredible people around me become so successful at what they do. It brings me great joy.

I credit success of business to God, family, employees and hard work. Without having those in alignment, success is very hard to come by. We often forget who helped us get where we are, (trust me, I find myself doing that all too often). I feel lucky to be where I am today, married to an incredible wife and have an amazing family. I’m surrounded by wonderful people that I work with daily. 

Our goal at the Ag Center is to help this community and anyone else that we are fortunate enough to work with grow and progress. We are committed to help attain YOUR goals and to be a tool for your needs. I am so grateful for our agricultural community.
 

Sincerely, 

Doug Brunner

THE AG CENTER TEAM

CASSANDRA FASI

Program Director

Cassandra grew up in Madera, California on a 40 acre vineyard on the beautiful San Joaquin River. She attended California State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. There she studied Hospitality and Event Management while playing D1 soccer. After graduating with her BS, Cassandra worked at The Ritz Carlton in Aspen, CO. She soon learned that the hotel industry was not what she wanted to do with her life long career and then moved back home and began working for The Ag Center. Her passion for people, teamwork, customer service, business development & agriculture allowed her to dive into her now career at The Ag Center. In Cassandra’s spare time she loves to spend time with her dog, travel, exercise and enjoy drinks with friends.

BROOKE MCPARLAND

Program Coordinator, AGC 59

Brooke grew up locally in the Atwater/Merced area before leaving to attend Cal State University, Fullerton where she received her degree in Business with a concentration in Entertainment and Tourism Management. She remained in Southern California for six years working in banking, property management, as well as performing at Disneyland before returning back to the Central Valley where she feels her heart resides. Brooke comes from a large family heavily involved in agriculture while being involved in 4-H and FFA showing swine and taking welding classes. Outside of work, Brooke enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, or finding new restaurants to try. 

MADISON HARRIS

Program Coordinator, AGC 59

Madison was born and raised in Hanford, Ca. Growing up she was involved in sports and FFA which gave her a passion for ag. She comes from a small and large animal background but is very excited to grow with the Ag Center. She is also obsessed with In N Out. 

SARA VANDERPOEL

Program Coordinator, AGC 99

Sara grew up in the Central Valley on her parents dairy in Pixley, California. She attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo where she earned her degree in Agriculture Communications and minored in Agricultural Business. Though she had a hard time leaving the “Happiest city in America”, she is glad to be back in her hometown putting her degree to use working for The Ag Center! When Sara is not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends at the lake, making martinis, and traveling!

BRIDGET DIAS

Program Coordinator, AGC 99

Bridget was born and raised in Hanford, CA. Growing up on a dairy and her dad having a custom harvesting business, she knew she wanted to be involved in agriculture. She enjoyed being around the ag community and the type of people it encompassed. Bridget graduated from California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo where she majored in Dairy Science along with a minor in Ag Business. She is grateful for all the memories, opportunities, education, and life-long friends Cal Poly has given her. Outside of work, Bridget loves to go on trips, spend time with friends, family, and of course her dogs!

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

CENTRAL IRRIGATION

KEITH YAMAMOTO

President/General Manager

Keith Yamamoto is a third Generation Diversified California Farmer. His focus remains steady on his business’ needs. The principals Keith lives by in business are: be honest with yourself and your associates, give all the effort you can afford, trust your instincts, and keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. When Keith isn’t managing Central Irrigation, he’s making memories, celebrating life with his family and friends.

GREG BORBA

Vice President/Head of Construction Dept.

Greg grew up on a 2500 acre cattle ranch in Oakdale, Ca. His childhood consisted of irrigating pasture, treating cattle, riding horses and fixing fences. After graduating from Cal Poly SLO in 2016 with a degree in Ag Systems Management and a Minor in Ag Business with an emphasis in water science, he started with Central in February 2017. Before coming on with Central Irrigation, Greg worked in engineering with an irrigation district and a private engineering firm. As his love for ag grew, he decided to start his own almond farm in January.

AUSTIN VERISSIMO

Head of Automation

Austin grew up on a Farm in Modesto Ca. He has been with Central Irrigation since he graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 2016. Austin is the head of the automation department, designer, and salesman. Austin likes the team spirit that Central has. Growing up playing sports, he knew how important it was for everyone to do their own job, and be able to trust that everyone else is doing theirs. Central has a lot of young guys that aren't afraid of work and that's something he appreciates. In Austin's fore time he likes to go to the beach, travel and relax.  

CHASE ULRICH

Vice President

Chase is a 3rd generation Almond Farmer raised in Ballico, Ca. Chase attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and majored in Bio Resources and Ag Engineering. After graduation Chase began working for Waterford Irrigation for two years before joining Central Irrigation in 2018. Now Chase is the Vice President of Central Inc., the president of Central Irrigation, Tulare, and Head of the Design Department. In Chase's free time he enjoys farming his own Almond farm with his wife in Chowchilla, CA and snow skiing in Tahoe.

RYAN ZUIDERVAART

Purchasing Manager

Ryan was born and raised in Ripon, Ca. He later attended Fresno State where he got his degree in Ag Business. For over 3 years, Ryan has been with Central Irrigation, but his knowledge with irrigation actually goes back to 2004 when he first began in the industry. Central Irrigation is a family atmosphere to him and loves to be here. If you see Ryan outside of work, it's likely to be at a baseball game or out camping with this 3 great kids who keep him quite busy!

ERIC DIXON

Head of Fabrication/Maintenance

Eric started working at Central in February of 2018. He used to be the lead welder at Landmark irrigation for 13 years. One of his goals is to have Central Irrigation be the leading irrigation company! Eric and his guys do all the welding at filter stations and take care of all the repairs and maintenance for the truck equipment. In his free time, Eric likes to hangout at home working on his four wheel drives and relaxing up in the mountains.

DIANE OURIQUE

Accounting Manager

Diane grew up in Livingston/Atwater & Dos Palos. She was raised in the Ag industry raising cattle and helping on her family dairy in Dos Palos as a kid. Ag is all Diane has known, working as a bookkeeper/accountant for an organic farm in Madera, a calf milk replacer manufacturer in Turlock and now irrigation systems for Central Irrigation. Diane enjoys the broad culture and diversity that the Ag industry offers. Diane began working for Central Irrigation in January in 2019. Diane is currently completing her BA and taking the CPA exam in a year. In her free time she normally likes to travel new roads, visit new towns and look for antique shops.

MARCUS LEANDRO

Design Artist

Marcus has lived in Turlock, CA his whole life. Marcus has his associates degree in irrigation technology. He has worked for Central Irrigation for the past 2 years as a designer of irrigation systems & illustrates parts that are used in CAD drawings. Marcus enjoys working in the friendly environment Central Irrigation provides. In his spare time he likes restoring his old truck and hanging out with his girlfriend and friends.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

FARMCOM REAL ESTATE

KEVIN DENIZ

Managing Partner

Kevin Deniz has been in farming his entire life, and for the last decade he has specialized in farm and land transactions. Deniz is representing Farmers and Investors from all over the country. It is a personal goal of Deniz to constantly learn about farming innovations, the real estate market and new ways to acquire property. Deniz believes a creative person will always figure out how to make a deal happen.

MIKE HEDBERG

Broker

Mike is the Broker for FarmCom Real Estate. He graduated from CSU Fresno in 1976 with a Plant Science degree. He has worked in the agriculture industry as a PCA for 44 years and has had his Applicators License for 44 years as well. Mike has been doing Real Estate for 33 years and has been a Broker for 17 years. Mike has been farming pistachios, almonds, apples, last and wheat for W.D. farming for 22 years. He has owned and operated Econo-Ag Supplies for 27 years and sold it to Central Irrigation but managed for another 3 years. Currently, Mike spends time farming his 100 acre almond farm with his wife. He has 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Mike is also a member of Cornerstone church where he was Governing Elder and also the superintendent of Sunday school for 10 years. 

GARY SUMPTER

Real Estate Agent

Gary was born and raised in the Central Valley on a family owned farm. During the day, Gary works for Nutrient Ag Solutions and works as a Real Estate Agent for FarmCom on the side. Gary has been doing Real Estate for over 15 years. In his spare time he is usually working hard or spending time with his family. Gary loves working as a Real Estate Agent for FarmCom and being able to support the Central Valley Ag community in any way that he can!

CHELSIE HARRIS

Real Estate Agent

Chelsie joins us from Chowchilla, CA. She originally began by working for DCB Farming in 2017 and joined The Ag Center as soon as the vision was set in place! Chelsie has had her real estate license for 4 years and became an agent of Farmcom Real Estate when they joined The Ag Center team. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions you may have about real estate or The Ag Center! Chelsie also got married this past year!

MIKAELA GAMBONI

Real Estate Agent

Mikaela Gamboni was born and raised in California’s Central Valley. With strong roots in agriculture and over 4 years of experience in the real estate industry, Mikaela has the knowledge and connections to help her clients throughout their real estate transactions. Mikaela looks forward to building relationships with her clients and assisting them with finding the property of their dreams!

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

CORIGIN

MIKE WOELK

Owner

Mike is the CEO and Founder of Corigin Solutions, a Merced based startup that converts low value farm wastes into high value organic products that help farmers sustainably intensify their operations. Corigin’s flagship products include crop growth enhancers, feed additives and soil amendments that increase yield, reduce fertilizer & chemical use, improve water efficiency and sequester carbon for centuries. Prior to starting Corigin, Mike was an accomplished senior executive and repeat entrepreneur with more than 30 years of leadership experience in the biotech, clean tech, scientific instrument and sensor industries. Mike is a TEDx speaker and has received numerous awards including Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum in Davos, IHS-Cera Energy Innovation Pioneer and a CNBC Disruptor. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from the California State Polytechnic University - Pomona.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

TREE BARBER/CADDYSHACK

KYLE ESPINOLA

Co-Owner/Operator, Tree Barber/Caddyshack

Kyle’s roots run deep in Central Valley’s Agricultural industry, being born and raised in Chowchilla. After high school he attended Cal State Monterey Bay where he played baseball and graduated with a degree in Kinesiology. After college, he returned home to Chowchilla and soon after started Caddyshack Rodent Service & The Tree Barber. If Kyle’s not in a spreader or topper, he’s enjoying time with his beautiful wife, precious daughter, and newborn son.

GERNARO CAMPOS JR.

Field Manager, Tree Barber/Caddyshack

Born in Visalia, but raised in Chowchilla. Graduated from Chowchilla Union High School. I started working for Caddyshack part time in 2015 while I was still in high school. I started working for Tree Barber in 2017. I am a field manager or both Caddyshack & Tree Barber. I love to travel, be outdoors and anything with an engine.

GILBERT CAMPOS

Field Manager, Tree Barber/Caddyshack

Gilbert was born in Visalia, but raised in Chowchilla where he graduated high school. He started working for Caddyshack part time in 2015 while still attending high school. After graduation, Gilbert moved up to assistant manager and now is a field manager. He started working for Tree Barber in 2016 as one of their first employees where he is now also their field manager. Outside of work, you can find him riding the dunes in Pismo or out on the water at the lake. Gilbert loves to travel and be outdoors camping.

WILL BRANCO

Manager, Caddyshack

Will was born in Merced into a family that has been deeply intertwined in agriculture for countless generations, and has always known his path would be similar. He attended both Cuesta College and Merced Junior College to major in Crop and Pasture Science but his substantial experience came from the jobs to follow. From welding for a large dairy to managing acreage of family hay ground, Will has done a little bit of everything. He began working for Tree Barber and Caddyshack in August 2018 where he currently is a manager. Will says this has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding ventures, and is excited to grow along with the company!

BRIAN SILVEIRA

Manager - Northern Territory, Tree Barber/Caddyshack

Brian comes from a Portuguese family and speaks fluent Spanish. After graduating high school Brian began working for his family's dairy. In   February of 2020, Brian decided to leave the family business and began working for Caddyshack. He enjoys working in the Ag industry because "Ag feeds the world". In Brian's spare time he cares about nothing except "making the good times roll". Brian also likes hanging out with friends, family and his dog, and is always making sure everyone is laughing and having a good time.

LAURA OLIVEIRA

Office Manager, Tree Barber/Caddyshack

Laura grew up in Newman, Ca where she was surrounded by agriculture. She studied business administration in college. After college, Laura attended a business school to become a Realtor. She has 4+ years in bookkeeping. Laura has worked for The Ag Center since June 2019 and now manages some of the service companies such as Caddyshack and Tree Barber. She loves everything The Ag Center has to offer and the amazing companies/people that are a part of it. When Laura isn't working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family & friends. 

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

WATER & LAND SOLUTIONS

BRAD SAMUELSON

Co-Owner/Operator

Brad Samuelson was born and raised in Merced, California and his family operated a seed and grain business.  He followed his dream to play college soccer at Sonoma State University and later attended the University of San Francisco and obtained a Master of Science in Environmental Management

CHASE HURLEY

Managing Member

Chase Hurley was born and raised on a small family farm in Los Banos, Ca. He attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and obtained an Agricultural Marketing degree in 1989, since then has been very active in ag production and water resources for the last thirty years.  From 2004-2017, he was the General Manager of San Luis Canal Company in Dos Palos California where he represented over three hundred San Joaquin River Water Right landowners on a wide variety of resource and policy issues. If Chase isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his family.

MIKE GARDNER

Water Operations Manager

Mike Gardner was born and raised in Los Banos, California. He attended Merced College for 2 years. Since then Mike has been fully immersed in water resources, working at both Panoche Water/Drainage District and the Grassland Water District. He started Panoche’s first real-time monitoring network, which included 9 real-time stations that monitored flow and water quality using Campbell Scientific dataloggers and software. At Grassland Water District where he was in charge of all outside operations for over 55,000 acres of privately-owned wetlands. The wetlands consisted of 1,000 landowners, 188 duck clubs, and 445 water delivery turnouts. He was in charge of delivering up to 180,000-acre feet of water which was part of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Mike has served as a Director of the Los Banos Sportsman’s Association and has volunteered for Ducks Unlimited and the National Rifle Association.

Josh Dowell

Ag Water Specialist

Joshua (Josh) Dowell was born and raised in Chowchilla, California on a dairy farming operation. He attended California State University, Fresno and majored in Agricultural Communications with a focus in Entrepreneurship. In his relatively young career, he has amassed a dynamic background that spans government and policy making, technology, and farming. He has worked in several major farming regions in California with time spent in the Imperial Valley, Sacramento Valley, and his home in the Central Valley. Josh is passionate about helping farmers secure their future by developing projects and strategies that will provide reliable water sources for generations to come. In his time outside of WLS he is an avid podcaster and also works with students involved in California FFA and Fresno State’s Entrepreneurship program. 

RHETT ANDERSON

Ag Water Specialist

Rhett Anderson was born and raised in Visalia, California. Rhett’s family comes from a long line of famers from the southern Central Valley, where they grew cotton and tomatoes. He attended California Polytechnic State University, where he obtained a degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management. Rhett’s passion for the Ag industry allows him the opportunity to work with landowners to develop creative solutions as California’s Resource Management develops.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

DCB FARMING

JOSH BONDS

Farming Manager

Josh was born and raised in Dos Palos with a family history in dairying and farming. Having worked for a local pest management and a chemical company, he acquired a vast array of experience in the Agricultural Industry. In 2015, Josh was hired on as a Farm Manager of DCB Farming and most recently started his own company, Bonds Farming. If you know Josh, you know he takes great  pride in his work. His standards, ethics and loyalty are second to none. If Josh isn’t working, he’s traveling or spending time in his community. 

CODY LUIS

Equipment Manager

Cody was born and raised on a dairy just outside Chowchilla, CA. Growing up on a dairy sparked Cody's agricultural interest which led him to start working alongside his father at the age of 13. Getting hired at DCB Farming in 2014 made him the first ever employee and since then has become the Equipment Manager. When not working, he spends time with his two wonderful kids.

ALEJANDRO CHACON

Irrigation Manager

Alejandro was born and raised in El Salvador before coming to the Central Valley in 2006. Since starting with DCB Farming in 2016, he finds himself learning and conquering new challenges everyday in the industry. Staying active all day makes farming just that much more fun. He's taken on the role of managing the irrigation side of the business and keeping systems in check. Outside of work, you can find Alejandro enjoying time with his two amazing kids. 

LEXI LANFRANCO

Office Manager

Lexi grew up in the small town of Kerman, CA. She grew up learning how important it was to have a strong work ethic from a young age. Throughout the years she could be found helping her dad farm or working at one of the family businesses in downtown Kerman. She attended California State University, Fresno majoring in Agricultural Business. She knew she wanted to continue to stay deeply rooted in the Ag community and became part of the Ag Center team just a few months after graduation. When she is not working in the DCB office or alongside her family, she enjoys traveling to new places near and far. 

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

FOIADA LAND LEVELING

MATT FOIADA

Co-Owner/Operator

A third generation land leveler, Matt Foiada was born and raised in Turlock, CA. Upon graduating high school, Matt knew exactly what he wanted in life: follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, proudly serving clients since1945. 

GEORGE RANGEL

Handy Man

George to the US from Mexico when he was 19 years old. When he arrived in the US he started his career in agriculture by working in the field planting and picking a variety of different crops. After that George worked in the Construction industry. From there George began to work for Foiada Land Leveling where he has now worked for the past 10 years. George likes working for Foiada because they treat him like family and he always has something to do whether that be; tractor driving, disking, ripping, welding, or mechanics. In George's free time he likes to kick it with his family

MICHAEL BENTO

Tractor Operator

Michael grew up on a dairy farm in Turlock, CA. Michael attended Turlock High School and continued his education to Roselawn Continuation School.  Now, Michael has worked for Foiada Land leveling for the past 4 years. He joins working there because of his awesome bosses! Michael likes working in the Ag industry because it's something he has been doing his whole life and is passionate about. In Michaels free time he likes to chill with his friends and drink some beer.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

AGRI-VALLEY CONSULTING

CHRIS MORGNER

Owner/Principal Consultant

As a PCA and Agronomist since 1978, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to his clients. He is supported by an energetic and capable staff that provides pest management and agronomy services to grower clients in Central California. Disciple. Husband. Agronomist and crop advisor, almond farmer, wine snob and foodie... the list goes on.

GIULIANA MARCHINI

PCA

Giuliana grew up on her family’s almond ranch in Le Grand, California. Her love of agriculture and affinity for watching things grow developed at an early age as she followed her dad around while he farmed. Upon graduating from high school, she attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and graduated with a B.S. in Agricultural Science. Shortly after, Giuliana obtained her PCA license and found a nice fit with Agri-Valley Consulting. When Giuliana isn’t working, she enjoys spending time in her community, traveling, hiking, and playing fetch with her pup, Jesse.

MATT PUGLIZEVICH

PCA/CCA

Matt "Pug" was born and raised in Merced, CA.  Always a good student, he graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from CSU Monterey Bay, and soon after, joined Agri-Valley Consulting.  Realizing the great opportunities offered by the agricultural industry, and more specifically by this company, he went back to school to earn his PCA and CCA licenses.  On board since 2008, he still loves working with his Agri-Valley Consulting family...  Matt lives for his amazing wife and children.  When he isn't working, he spends as much time as possible with them, while keeping active playing various sports and working around the house.  He is determined, dependable, and considerate.  

JOE BAIRD

PCA/CCA

Joe was raised on a small family dairy farm in El Nido, California. At 18 years old, he left to join the U.S. Navy and serve during the Vietnam War. After completing his military duties, he went on to work as a maintenance electrician for Kaiser Aluminum and then later returned home to work on the family dairy farm. He worked as a farm worker and herdsman for the next 17 years until enrolling in Merced College. Joe continued working full time at the family dairy until he graduated from Merced College with and A.S. in Landscape Horticulture.  He transferred to CalPoly San Luis Obispo to continue his education in agriculture.  In 1996 Joe Graduated with a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture, with a minor in Ag Business and began working for Agri-Valley Consulting in 1996.  PCA/CCA. 

STEVE ZEIDERS

PCA/CCA

Steve grew up working for his parent’s commercial beekeeping business and grandparents grain farming operation. A third generation in Ag, raised in Southern California, he attended college with the intent to stay in agriculture. Steve graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2004 with a degree in crop and fruit production and in 2007 became a member of Agri-Valley Consulting, as a PCA/CCA consultant. He enjoys spending time as a hobby bee keeper and he’s an avid hunter. Steve, with his wife, and 3 children, support Agricultural Education through community involvement and 4-H.

CHASE CULLINS

Field Technician

Chase grew up in Madera, Ca. After graduating high school, he attended college at CSU Monterey Bay where he obtained a B.S in Kinesiology. A couple of years after graduating from CSUMB, he became very interested in the agricultural field and was introduced to Chris Morgner of Agri-Valley Consulting.  Chase has been with Agri-Valley since June of 2019. Currently he is taking classes and working toward obtaining his PCA license. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, watching sports and spending time with his family. 

DELIA ZAVALA

PCA

Delia was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and raised in Greenfield, CA. Delia attended Hartnell College and in 2015 transferred to Fresno State. The Central Valley has become her home ever since. Delia graduated from CSU Fresno with a bachelors degree in Plant Health. She soon after obtained her PCA license. Delia began working for Agri-Valley Consulting in November of 2019. In Delia's free time she enjoys outdoor activities which includes either running or commuting on her bike.   

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

CERES IMAGING

MATT RIBEIRO

Account Manager

Matt was born and raised in Modesto, Ca. He grew up on a family farm consisting of almonds, walnuts and even a dairy farm operation. After he received a degree in Ag Economics from Fresno State University, he immediately went into farm management post-graduation. Once returning, the family farm began using Ceres Imagery and it was about a year later that Matt began working for the company. He found that the data Ceres was able to provide was invaluable and loves working directly with farmers to find solutions to their problems. 

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

SWIIM

KEVIN FRANCE

CEO

Kevin is a fifth-generation native raised on the Central Coast with deep roots in agriculture.  He has worked in agricultural water resource management for over twenty years, helping growers protect their water allocations throughout California, Arizona and Colorado. Kevin works closely with Western Growers Association where he crafted a first-of-its-kind partnership.  He has testified in front of Congress regarding the impacts of agricultural technology in rural America and has also been active on an advisory panel focused on agricultural water conservation and optimization. Kevin earned his MBA, graduating with honors from Regis University and a BS in Business Administration and Communications from the University of Colorado. When he isn't working on ag water issues he spends time with his wife and two daughters.

JUSTIN SCHAFER

Sales Representative

Justin was born and raised in Madera, California and is a 4th generation almond and grape grower. At a young age, Justin’s passion for all thing’s agriculture developed as he grew up on his family’s vineyard and helped with the growing and harvesting of their crops. Justin went on to attend Fresno State to pursue a degree in entrepreneurship with a goal of having his own land to farm. After Fresno State, he ventured out to work with other companies as an irrigation sales/designer and ranch supervisor for 1,400 acres of almonds. Justin’s newest adventure is with SWIIM where he utilizes his knowledge of irrigation and crops to help growers. When Justin is not hard at work, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends or hitting the links on the golf course.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

G&F AG SERVICES

ALAN THOMPSON

Sales Manager

Al started working for G & F 20 years ago amid serving in the Marine Corp Reserves. Starting as an operator in an excavator and loader, Al graduated up to his now position as sales manager where he is your main contact for orchard removal in the Valley. One highlight for Al in his position is being able to meet and build relationships with some of the best farmers in the state. Al resides in Ripon, Ca with his wife, Ashley, and his 3 amazing kids. He enjoys Friday Night Lights on the football field where he announces the local high school games and coaching his kids in youth sports. 

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

ROOT CREATIVE MARKETING

STEPHANIE STEELMAN

Co-Owner/Marketing Director

Stephanie was born and raised in Fresno, California, although she’s spent a lot of time in Europe given that her family is from Switzerland. She attended Chapman University in Orange, California before starting her career in Public Relations. Stephanie has over 10+ years of experience in Public Relations/Marketing in a variety of industries which include, but are not limited to: travel, lifestyle, B2B, pets, and agriculture. After growing her career in Southern California and Reno, Nevada, she was inspired to move back to the Central Valley and bring her marketing knowledge to the Agriculture industry through the launch of her own agency, Root Creative Marketing. If Stephanie isn’t working (which is rare), she’s traveling the world and spending time outside with her husband, Shane, and two dogs, Marcia & Russell. 

SAM JUSTICE

Co-Owner/Creative Director

As a Central Valley native, Sam Justice has strong ties with the Ag community. His love for photography and creative design developed at a young age. Sam has been working professionally in this industry for 6+ years and his passion for creativity has shown through in various projects he has worked on over the years. When Sam is off the clock, you can most likely find him spending time with his family while exploring the California Coast or the Sierra Nevada’s.

ALEXANDRA MERRITT

Marketing Account Manager

Alexandra came to us from Sonoma County, CA where she attended Sonoma State University and spent her days working in the world of wine compliance & marketing! Originally from Hanford, CA, Alexandra felt a tug on her heart to return to the central valley with the experience she gained after 4 years of marketing in wine country. Passionate about central valley agriculture, Alexandra brings her creative mind and culture to Root Creative Marketing. When Alexandra is not working, she's traveling up and down the coastline, attending any and every concert, working on her art or enjoying a glass of champagne in a beautiful city!

KATIE VILLA

Marketing Coordinator

Katie was born & raised in Lemoore, California. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a degree in Business Administration. While studying business, Katie’s primary focus was marketing and market research. Shortly after graduation, she put her business degree to work and joined a team at a FinTech company in San Francisco. In 2019, Katie made the decision to get back to her roots & move back to the Central Valley. Katie is the newest member of the AGC family and joined our team in the beginning of May 2020. When she is off the clock, you can most likely find her reading a mysterious thriller and sipping on a yummy glass of cabernet sauvignon!

FRANCESCA LAROCCA

Marketing Coordinator

Francesca was born & raised in Fresno, California. She graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in English and a minor in Italian. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Public Relations in the entertainment industry, working for NBC, CBS, and E! Entertainment. Francesca always knew she would come back to her hometown and after 4 years down south, she finally took the plunge and moved home. When Francesca isn’t working, she’s enjoying a big bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine.

JONATHAN DOMINGUEZ

Art Director/Graphic Designer

Born and raised in the Central Valley, Jonathan is a brand designer and art director with over 10 years of experience developing brand messaging for local and national brands and organizations. His passion is in the details with a refined ability for developing and telling each brand’s unique story. If he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him in the kitchen, watching FRIENDS or traveling.

JOEL MARIANO

Photographer/Videographer

Joel brings an infectious smile, intensely creative mind and amazing skill to the creative team! His positive attitude makes everyone around him better. When Joel isn’t working, he’s spending his time serving at church, filming his weekend adventures and binge watching The Office!

JOSHUA MENDOZA

Photographer/Videographer

With a background in sales & management, Joshua enjoys team development and the joy of seeing others grow to reach their goals or learn a new trick or two. Inspired by God’s love, powerhouse wife, loving family, best of friends and the belief that photography and films could be beautiful, creative and honest. What started off with picking up a camera to capture moments of his children, combine all that with passion and a handful of opportunities, he realized there is a career in creative work and decided to ditch the desk and join the best!

KEEGAN JOHANSON

Photgrapher/Videographer

Keegan Johanson is one of Root Creative Marketing's incredible videographers and photographers! Keegan brings a youthful eye of artistic creativity to the Root team. When he’s not at work, you can find him going on hikes, filming things with friends, hanging out with all his siblings or doing something adventurous outdoors!

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

RASMUSSEN FARMS

ETHAN RASMUSSEN

Owner

Ethan was born and raised in Gustine California. He is a 4th generation farmer and 2nd generation beekeeper. After graduating from Cal Poly, SLO in 2017 with a degree in Agricultural Science, he started his own bee keeping business, specializing in almond pollination brokerage. He prides himself on providing quality hives for quality growers.

TYLER HILTON

Foreman

Tyler was born and raised in the heart of the midwest to a farming family. He is no stranger to hard work. Tyler joined the Rasmussen Farms team in 2019 as a Foreman, handling everything from logistics to maintenance and repairs. Tyler enjoy's working for Ethan and the family work environment he creates, and the pride he has in his work. He is passionate about providing the best possible product and service Rasmussen Farms has to offer. when Tyler isn't working during pollination season, you can find him and the bees making honey back in the midwest as The Holton Homestead, and Holton Honeybees.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

BARRIER SOLAR & ROOFING

BLAIR CUNNINGS

CEO

Blair founded Barrier in 1998, and is a 4th generation roofing contractor with over 25 years of experience in sprayed roofing, coating and insulation systems. He is a Fresno native and a graduate of Bullard High School. Blair went on to earn an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California in Public Administration and Urban Planning. Blair was a member of the men’s golf team for the university and graduated in 1992. He is more than a roofing and solar pro as he actively is engaged in Ag as a cherry farmer. He likes to point out that Barrier Solar speaks Ag as well with extensive experience in Ag ground mount solar, Ag shade structure solar and even specialty solar like containment pond solar systems. Blair is an active member of his community and supports many community organizations including Valley Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish and Fresno State University, to name a few. He’s also member of key industry organizations such as the National Roofing Contractors Association, the Sprayed Polyurethane Foam Association, SEIA and the Better Business Bureau.

ANDY ZAVOREK

Vice President

Andy has been with Barrier since 2010. He has 14 years of experience in business and sales and was also a teacher for 14 years. He is a 1993 graduate of Fresno State, where he played baseball. He’s also a graduate of Bullard High School and has been active in youth and amateur baseball for 25 years.

BEAU DIAZ

Sales Representative/Project Manager

Beau grew up in the Fresno area and went to Bullard High School. From their Beau played soccer at the University of Louisville & Sonoma State. Beau started working for Barrier as a solar installer and now is a salesman and project manager. He has worked for Barrier for 3 years. In Beau's free time he enjoys hunting, riding dirt bikes, jet skiing and golfing.

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

PENNY NEWMAN

MATT NICOLETTI

Director of Business Development

Matt is the Director of Business Development and the head of it's Farm Products Division. He grew up in Fresno, CA and attended the University of Southern California from which he graduated in 2010 with a degree in business administration and an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Matt spent the first four years of his career in the technology sector prior to returning to his roots in agriculture. He finds a great deal of satisfaction in applying the spirit of innovation gleaned from his experience in tech to a more traditional industry, and Penny Newman’s Farm Products Division aims to do just that. Its mission to bring innovative products to market that help farmers improve their profitability while simultaneously having a net-positive impact on the environment and human health. Matt’s great passions are music and the outdoors, both of which he enjoys most in the company of his friends and family.   

FINN TELLES

Sales/Marketing

Finn is part of the sales and marketing team at Penny Newman Grain Company Farm Products Division. He grew up in Fresno, CA and is the fourth generation in his family with farming roots in the San Joaquin Valley. He graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2009 with a degree in Environmental Studies and an emphasis in sustainable agriculture. He is proud to work at Penny Newman to help growers enhance their crop production and long-term soil health through innovative methods and regenerative farming practices. Finn loves the simple act of watching the crop grow throughout the season and knowing that working in ag he is part of something bigger. In his spare time he is an avid vegetable gardener and enjoys sharing the harvest with his friends and family. If he’s not out in the garden, you might be able to find him on his whitewater raft exploring California’s beautiful rivers or camping by a mountain lake.

JARED NORTHINGTON

Grain, Soil Amendment & Fertilizer Division

Born and raised in Hanford, CA, Jared attended San Joaquin Memorial High School and Fresno State University, in which he obtained a degree in Agriculture Business in 2013. Jared has been with Penny Newman Grain company just over 7 years in total with 2 of those years part time during college as he learned all aspects of the business. What Jared admires most about the Ag industry is how it brings people together from all over the globe who are contributing both big and small roles in bringing food to our tables. Each day brings different challenges our way to meet the demand for farmers feeding the world. Jared envies this challenge and failure is not an option for him.  In his spare time, he farms grapes & almonds for his own farms. He enjoys traveling to new places with his girlfriend and spending quality time with his family. His favorite place to getaway is the central coastline where his sister and her family live. Who can blame him for that WEATHER!

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

STONE SPREADING

PAUL STONE

Owner/Operator

Paul's father started the company back in 1969 and remembers being pulled out of middle school to run loaders. His youth summers were spent being a full time employee and worked every weekend. At 22, he came back from college to work for the family company. 3 years ago, he went and bought out his brother's portion to now be the sole owner of Stone Spreading. His company has come a long way over the years and are always expanding. He hopes to have well trained management so it can run itself. Paul has 3 beautiful daughters and 3 grandkids to keep him busy also! In his spare time, he enjoys flying his plane and traveling with his wife. 

JILL STONE

Owner

Jill has been married to Paul for the past 28 years. In 1998, she started running the office part time in an old quonset hut with her sister-in-law. Over the years, they have grown tremendously and now have a new shop and office with even a filing room that she says is her favorite! It's a big step from once having 3 people share the same computer. Jill was in charge of basically everything with a lot of responsibilities she had never had before. So in 2018, she hired Kristy and later would hire Jonnette to help in the office. She cannot thank them enough for keeping her organized, on track and still going! She's very blessed to be working along side her husband to build and grow his dreams!

ALLEN SMITH

Truck Manager

Allen has been with Stone Spreading 25 years after first starting in 1996. He says the relationship he's created with Paul is what keeps him going and seeing how far they have come. The future looks great for Stone Spreading, according to Allen, all thanks to Paul taking over, he says. Outside of work, you can probably find Allen fishing!

BRIEN ROCHA

Shop Manager

Brien has been with Stone Spreading 8 years and sees a lot of growth in the future for the company. He owes his time with the company to Paul and keeps going with the potential to move up. Brien has 2 young boys that are active in racing. His weekends are busy being spent on the race track! 

KRISTY PRESNELL-ALVARADO

Sales Manager

Kristy may have only been with the Stones for 2 years now, but sees herself in it for the long haul! Whatever direction the company decides to go, she is excited to move forward with the changes. She sees a big opportunity in composting in the future and hopes that Stone Spreading can really excel with it. But don't think the office is boring. It is anything but, according to Kristy! Stone's is a fun place to work and always entertaining while still being family oriented. 

JONNETTE SMITH

Receptionist

Jonnette wakes up every morning excited to come to work! She loves that the company is family friendly. Acquiring more knowledge in the office is how she hopes to move up as far as she can in her future with Stone Spreading. Jonnette is happy to help as much as she can! 

AGC AFFILIATE TEAM

BIG VALLEY CAPITAL

SEAN HAYES

Co-Owner

Sean leveraged a lifetime of production ag experience and formal Agricultural Economics education (completing a B.S. in Agribusiness at Cal State Fresno) into a successful 15- year Food and Agribusiness banking career including financial analysis, commodity risk, portfolio management, and building a well performing $560mln debt portfolio as Senior Vice President in Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Division.​ Always a client advocate and enjoying the financial advisory and risk management portion of his career the most, Sean took the opportunity to focus 100% of his work solely for his clients as their dedicated financial expert, co- founding Big Valley Capital.

TYLER RATH

Co-Owner

Tyler was raised in a small farming community in Central California. After graduating from high school, he went on to receive a degree in Business Administration from Long Beach State University and an MBA from Fresno State. Tyler started his professional career managing commodities contracts for a large dairy feed company. After nearly 4 years in the commodity business, Tyler transitioned to a banking career in the Food and Agribusiness space where he spent 11 years managing various client relationships in the dairy, permanent crops, annual crops, vineyard, winery, and food processing sectors. Tyler co-founded Big Valley Capital with the goal of providing creative financial solutions to our customers. 

MICHELLE PATTERSON

Business Manager

Michelle Patterson was born and raised in the Central Valley. She joined the team in March of 2018 after a successful stint in the Insurance business. She is excited to bring her attention to detail and love of agriculture to Big Valley Capital by bringing financial solutions to our clients as well as a high level of personal service to our existing portfolio.​ Michelle loves to spend time with her family and traveling with her daughter’s competitive volleyball team.