Meet a Farmer: Jerin Kliewer of Kliewer Farms
Jerin Kliewer is a third-generation farmer in the Central Valley. His family recently launched the “Mega Kiwi” brand of kiwi. This larger than life kiwi is so big, that they are making a run at the Guinness Book of World Records for largest kiwi! In addition to growing mega-sized kiwi, Kliewer Farms also grows and packs tree fruit, citrus and grapes. The family is committed to growing and providing safe, healthy food for people all over the world.
CA GROWN: What are you doing today?
JERIN: Checking on crews that are pruning grapes and stone fruit. We are shredding brush from the different pruning’s and laying down compost. Later, I’ll jump on the “flamer” – that’s what we call it. It’s a big propane tank that shoots out flames and burns the weeds in one of our Mega Kiwi organic fields.
CA GROWN: What is your favorite part of farming?
JERIN: Being outside and doing something different every day. There is always something to do or fix.
CA GROWN: How do you give back to the community?
JERIN: I mentor a group of high school seniors at a local school. I also help in my church in the youth group. We as a company help nonprofits in our community, we also help raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of America.
CA GROWN: What drew you into farming?
JERIN: I’m a third-generation farmer, my dad drew me into it. I remember when I was a little boy. My dad would take me on tractor rides and sometimes even let me steer. I always thought that was the coolest thing. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors.
CA GROWN: What are your hobbies or past times when you are not farming?
JERIN: I have my pilot’s license, and so I enjoy flying, spending time with family, I try to get as much time as I can with my wife, two daughters and my son. When we are not on the farm as a family we are up at Shaver Lake, hanging out and enjoying the mountains together.
CA GROWN: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start farming?
JERIN: Great question. Start with one thing and learn that well, then move on to the next, learn that well then move on to the next. Keep on learning as much as you can because there is a lot to learn.
CA GROWN: What are one or two things you do on the farm to be sustainable?
JERIN: Lots of things! We are very sustainable. Most all of our wells are on solar panels, we use micro irrigation, everything is on drip or micro sprinklers. We also use Climate Minder, which monitors our water usage and tells us how much water the plants are using, so we only use what the plants need. We conserve water and energy and buy fuel efficient tractors.