Sohnrey Family Foods

Expanding A Family Business With Value-Added Products

CLIENT:

Sohnrey Family Foods is a family-owned, fourth and fifth generation farming operation that grows almonds, walnuts, prunes, hay, and rice. Based in Durham, CA, the Sohnreys have been an active and highly respected family in the farming community and have had great success as diversified growers for many years.

THE CHALLENGE:

It is a challenge to keep the next generation involved and active in family farming operations. The Sohnreys wish to build an expanded business to prioritize unified family operations and provide work for any family member interested in farming. Agricultural land prices are rising dramatically, up 8.1% in the U.S. and 5.8% in California from 2013 to 2014 alone (USDA Land Values 2014 Summary), and the Sohnrey family believes its best option to stay economically viable, grow their business, and further involve younger family members may be to capture more value from their crops with value-added products instead of expanding acreage.

MORRISON & COMPANY APPROACH:

To support their research and goals of producing value-added almonds to their business, Morrison & Company strategized with Sohnrey Family Farms suggesting they apply for the Value-Added Producer Grant, which helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based, value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the goals of this program. With Morrison’s tried and tested grant services, we built, alongside the Sohnrey family, an attractive project for the USDA with some flexibility built in, especially utilizing the beginning farmers and ranchers preferential scoring category, because the fifth generation had been farming for less than 10 years. Together, Morrison and Sohnrey applied for the 2015 VAPG Planning Grant, which is the first phase of a longer-term funded project and if awarded, it would fund a businesses’ feasibility study and help them develop their business plan. Morrison & Company offers both of those services in-house allowing Sohnreys to be able to trust a holistic product from Morrison as well.

THE RESULTS:

Sohnrey Family Foods was awarded their full grant funding request. Today, they have a fully functional on-site facility for processing, packaging, labeling, and shipping of value-added almonds of all sorts. Some flavors include Chipotle Lime, Roasted Garlic, Wasabi & Soy, and a fan favorite – Maple Bacon Almonds.