The longevity and success of a family business serves as a testament to its enduring values and commitment to perseverance. Join PBS’s “America’s Heartland”, as they showcase Western Growers members Mulholland Citrus and Ratto Bros, both of which are multi generations strong.
If the Mulholland name sounded familiar, you’d be correct! The family-owned and operated citrus giant is renowned not only for their sweet oranges but are also the namesake behind the famous Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, California. The very first Mulholland Citrus farm was established in Los Angeles by Perry Mulholland in the 1920s. In 1978, Tom Mulholland set out to start his own nursery in Orange Cove, California, with a mission to advance the citrus industry. He has since passed on the craft to his daughters, Heather and Alyssa.
“Most times I think women are identified as a farmer’s wife or have historically been a farmer’s wife or the farmer’s daughter. I’m pretty excited to break that norm. I’m really hopeful and excited for the future of females in agriculture,” says Heather Mulholland, COO.
Next stop, Modesto, California to visit the operations of Ratto Bros. In 1905, Antone Ratto, known as the ‘market man’ began planting the family’s first seeds in the Oakland area and delivered vegetables to customers with his horse- drawn carriage. The image of Antone on his carriage is still the company’s logo to this day!
In the century that has passed, the Ratto family have been stewards of the land working, hard to bring consumers 35 different vegetables and herb varieties. Today, four sons of the Ratto brothers run the family’s operations in the fields, cooling and distribution facility, sales office, and corporate headquarters.
“Farmers of America today are doing that today across the United States and across the globe because making sure people get nutritious, healthy food to eat is what’s most important,” says President Frank Ratto.
They believe they’ve discovered the perfect recipe for farm family success: a lot of heart deeply rooted in hard work.
Check out the episode by clicking here.
Episodes of “America’s Heartland” can be viewed on your area’s PBS station – check your local listings for exact date and time; more than 90 percent of all PBS stations in the country carry the show – as well as on PBS.org; the PBS standalone app; “America’s Heartland’s” website and YouTube; as well as weekly on RFD-TV. “America’s Heartland” is a production of Sacramento’s PBS KVIE.