Matthew Efird always knew he would return to the family farm.
Since he was a kid “jumpin’ around in the cotton trailers,” Matthew Efird always knew he would return to the family farm. Efird is a fifth generation farmer working with his father, Russel, at Double E Farms in Caruthers. He also owns his own operation, Efird Ag Enterprises Inc., which specializes in commercial harvesting and shredding. Efird serves as a Director at Large on the Fresno County Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
Education comes first
Efird graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1999 with a major in fruit science and a double minor in agricultural business and plant protection, enabling him to receive his pest control license. He has been professionally farming since the completion of his college degree. “I love what I do,” Efird said. “I love being able to farm with my father everyday, Dad and I work so well together. I’ve always wanted to be involved in production agriculture.”
Along with the farming operation, Efird created his own commercial harvesting and shredding operation. He began with mechanically harvesting grapes and raisins in 2004. In 2005 Efird purchased a set of prune harvesting equipment and his first Flory Powr’ Track shredder, and has continued to expand the business to include almond shaking and harvesting. This year the operation added two more shredders to serve the growing demand for the removal of orchard prunings, without the ability to burn. “I took a small commercial harvesting operation and expanded it” to the different endeavors we have engaged in, Efird said. “Not only are we receiving a source of off farm income, but we are able to have total control of all aspects of growing, harvesting and delivering our own crops."
“More to Ag than there used to be”
While in school, Efird had the opportunity to experience the differences in agricultural production on the Central Coast compared to the Central Valley. He worked as the manager of the Cal Poly vineyard and spent time working for his uncle’s vineyard management company located in San Luis Obispo, gaining knowledge of the wine grape industry. ”My experiences in San Luis Obispo provided knowledge and a different perspective, which I was able to implement in my operations here at home,” Efird said.
Efird believes the diversity in Fresno County benefits the agriculture industry, and is a key component to his operation. “I don’t think there’s a better area to live in because you’re so centrally located. The diversity of crops grown here in Fresno County allows it to be a leader in agricultural production throughout the world.”
“You need to have your ducks in a row”
Efird is proud to be a part of a multi-generation farming operation and to be able to carry on that legacy. Although he enjoys the work that he does, there are daily challenges associated with running a successful business. “Having the foresight and planning to always be one step ahead of where you need to be, if not two or three, that’s the challenge. These challenges are much more tolerable when you are engaged in work that you have a passion for, and have a reliable and dependable team working with you,” Efird mentioned.
Although the various operations keep him busy, Efird appreciates free time with friends and family and engaging in water sports, snow sports, camping, hunting and being a typical country boy. Efird also enjoys donating his time to community projects, and serving on various boards and committees.
Looking towards the future
Efird is looking forward to expanding his farming operation and achieving various personal goals in the future. He has experienced different aspects of the agriculture industry and feels qualified to be an active member of the Farm Bureau Board. He is excited to continue being involved as an active member of the Farm Bureau, as well as an individual who is positively engaged in Fresno County agriculture.
Meet Your Board Members Profile: Ag Today, Dec 10
By: Sarah Thomas