Meet a Farmer: Colin Muller of Joe Muller & Sons
CA GROWN: What are you doing today?
Colin: We are working on our 2016 crop plan. I’m figuring out what I want to plant in my fields. And I’ve been trying to actually get into the field in between rain. We grow walnuts, almonds, wine grapevines, garlic, olives for oil, tomatoes, winter squash, specialty peppers canola for seed and wheat. I manage tomato, cucumber and garlic production as well as our specialty crops.
When I’m stuck in the office I’m planning what I do the rest of the year and especially planning for spring. Now is the time when 95% of our planning gets done. So come springtime we know what we’re going to do. I’ve also been dabbling in *social media to promote awareness of agriculture.
*If you don’t follow Colin on Instagram, you definitely should be! He is all about promoting California agriculture, follow him at @californiafarmsandranches.
CA GROWN: What is your favorite thing about farming?
Colin: You reap what you sow and to me that is most true in this industry. The more prepared you are to do what you want to do the more likely you are to succeed, even though there are variables that can prevent you from succeeding. The reward is not instant. During the season it’s like a marathon at harvest. But finally crossing that finish line is so worthwhile. It’s a career that comes full circle in a little more than a year’s time.
CA GROWN: How do you give back to the community?
Colin: We make donations to multiple charities and give excess crops to the local food bank and senior gleaners. We take pride in our on-farm tours. During spring and summer we regularly give tours to the public. We do our best in season to cater to groups interested in the industry. We believe informing people about agriculture can better the industry as a whole if we do our part.
CA GROWN: What drew you into the farming profession?
Colin: A lot of it is my experience growing up on a farm and having the knowledge of agriculture. I actually studied kinesiology in college and intended on going into a physical therapy profession. That was mainly because I never deviated from agriculture for my entire life. Every job I ever had was in ag. Trying something new shined a light on how much I really do like agriculture and how much I enjoy the career and lifestyle. Helping my dad and seeing his passion and pride for the farm really influenced my decision as well.
CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or pastimes when you’re not farming?
Colin: When I’m not farming I like traveling with my family and I do enjoy playing basketball. I have 3 younger children so many of our activities are centered around things they can enjoy too.
CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a farmer?
Colin: For someone who wants to become a farmer, I would suggest trying to get as much direct experience in farming as possible. Get involved in extension programs and get as much experience as possible. Sometimes farming is not pretty and the direct experience component is critical to know how working in agriculture really is. There are so many different facets of farming worth exploring before deciding if you want to be a farmer. There’s a lot of opportunity out there for the future farmer to grasp.