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Our founding fore-farmers had an independent streak a rice field wide. And a vision that included cultivating rice and other crops in a way that preserves the soil, water, air and wildlife around us.
Pioneers in Soil Protection
Farmers Albert and Frances Lundberg left Nebraska in the wake of the Dust Bowl to start a new life in California’s fertile Sacramento Valley. With sons Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer, they pledged to protect the soil by working in partnership with nature.
Cultivating New Practices
Albert realized that incorporating rice straw into the fields would promote soil health and protect air quality long before a 1991 act was passed to curb the practice of burning it.
Improving the Process
A rice dryer is essential to preserving each season’s harvest. Materials were scarce during World War II, so Albert used recycled tin and wood from the foothills to build one from scratch, all so he could ensure each crop was preserved right, right under the family’s watchful eyes.
Connecting with Customers
The second generation began planting the seeds of the company that would become Lundberg Family Farms. It grew from their belief that customers deserve direct access to all-natural rice grown differently from conventional crops.
The Lundbergs test-planted their first organic crop: 76 acres of brown rice. They even built their own rice mill to process the harvest and, in the end, proved there was a market for farm-to-table organic rice.
One Name. One Brand.
The Lundbergs began selling rice under their own name, delivering along the West coast and selling to, in Wendell’s words, “…hippies who filled their VW buses with rice… and went on to start natural food companies.”
Working with 53 other local farmers, Homer helped to establish California Certified Organic Farmers, creating consistent standards to guide and grow the organic movement.
Organic brown rice took off—and with it, an appetite for new ways to enjoy it. The Lundberg solution: start making new foods using their organic crops, like all-natural rice cakes.
A New Generation
As responsibilities and traditions were handed down to a third generation, the family’s values and commitment remained intact. Homer said it best: “We’re going from being builders to being teachers. Now we have to teach our kids what it means to carry on.”
A partnership with local conservationists started an annual tradition: every spring, before we start our tractors and prep the fields for planting, we scour thousands of acres for duck nests. Over the years, more than 30,000 eggs have been recovered from our fields and relocated to a hatchery, where they are incubated, hatched, raised and released back into the wild.
The US EPA awarded us the Green Power Leadership Award for offsetting 100% of our power use with wind energy—the first organic food company to do so.
We believe that everyone has a right to know what is in their food and deserves access to non-GMO choices. So we joined with other organic and natural product companies to found the Non-GMO Project.
Bottom Line: Zero Waste
Working towards zero waste takes a village—and then some. Our zero waste journey began when mixed recycling bins were made available in rural Richvale. Since then, our zero waste program has grown to include a lot more. We collect, sort and recycle just about everything—99.7% to be exact.
Good Day, Sunshine
Doubling the capacity of our existing solar arrays means that every year, we offset the energy equivalent of driving a car 44,000,000 miles. In the next 25 years, it will add up to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 24,660 tons.
We’re constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to impact the world around us. We know that everything we've done to date is just the beginning of bigger and better things to come as we continue to uphold our family farming legacy by nourishing, conserving and innovating for a healthier world.