GROWING THE GOODNESS Meet Your New District 8 Board Director Matthew Efird Being part of the Blue Diamond family has been memorable for Matthew Efird and his family. As a fifth generation farmer and third generation almond grower, one of his childhood memories was watching his family participate in the filming of the co-op’s “Can A Week” advertisement. “That experience left a lasting impression as I joined Blue Diamond soon after planting my first almond orchard in 2007 at the age of 30,” said Efird. He’s since been in a strong advocate of the cooperative encouraging several other growers to join. Matthew manages his family’s over 100-year-old farm in the Caruthers, Riverdale, Raisin City, and Kingsburg areas of Fresno County. After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1999, Efird returned to the family operation, Double E Farms Inc., to partner with his father Russel. Together, they operate their 1,200-acre diversified farm of almonds, walnuts, raisins, processing peaches, and pistachios. Matthew also manages an additional 1,100 acres of tree nuts. He is president of the commercial operations division of the farm, Efird Ag Enterprises Inc. Efird Ag has been commercially harvesting and transporting almonds and walnuts since 1999. In 2005, Efird Ag purchased the first of three Flory Pow’r-Track Shredders, a no till orchard shredder designed to process annual orchard prunings into a fine mulch that decomposes prior to the following harvest. In addition to servicing all of the harvesting needs for Double E Farms Inc., Efird Ag harvested 1,800 acres and shook over 5,000 acres of almonds and walnuts, transported 44 million field pounds (920 loads) of almonds, and shredded over 40,000 acres this past year. Becoming a board director is a position Matthew looks forward to. “I believe that Blue Diamond ’s strength comes from its member-owners, strong branding, and cooperative model,” remarked Efird. “I also believe that a successful cooperative is more than talented leadership and staff, it must also have a qualified and dedicated board of directors to provide direction and oversight for the organization.” Matthew is a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program (Class 45) and serves as the president of the Fresno County Farm Bureau. He also serves on the Industry Advisory Council for the California Farm Bureau Federation and represents the energy interests of small to medium size agriculture operations at the California Public Utilities Commission by serving as treasurer of the Agricultural Energy Consumers Association. Matthew also serves as the secretary of Central California Almond Growers Association, a grower-owned cooperative that has grown to be the single largest almond huller/sheller in the world. Matthew and his wife Kelsey, live near Kingsburg with their two young boys, Jameson and Jenson. 2 8 A L M O N D F A C T S