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Updated: Dec 22, 2021

With hard work and dedication, success will follow. When you grow up in a small town, it can be great motivation for you to chase your dreams and find that success. And for Planada native, Junior Velesco, this was certainly the case. Like most young kids, he had dreamed of growing up and becoming something “cool” like a cop, but the flame of that dream blew out rather quickly. His parents had always been involved in farming and as he got older he became more involved with it himself. He spent most of his high school summers picking figs. It may not have been something he loved, but it opened doors for him. After he graduated, he continued his education at Merced College and worked as an almond huller. In this position, he had multiple roles like shipping and receiving, safety, and field scouting.

After a few years, Junior was approached by Nate Ray with DeJager Farms and given the opportunity of a lifetime--to join their team. Although it was a bit of a tough start, he quickly got the hang of things and was able to work his way up to his current position. These days, he holds the title of manager in chemical operations, HR, and safety. He has been with DeJager Farms for over four years now and he looks forward to what the future holds in the years to come. Even though he is still working at becoming a better manager and a better father to his beautiful daughter, Junior feels he has come quite a long way and has found his “cool” career after all.