Javadi: Business built on diversified ag
Troy and Lori Javadi began farming with very little more than a shared passion for agriculture and a strong work ethic. The Paso Robles, California, couple has managed to gain a foothold in ranching by filling the niche needs of businesses in their ag community.
“Providing services is our bread and butter,” Troy says.
His first opportunity to farm opened up in 1992 when Lori’s dad purchased a grape harvester and hired Troy to operate the machine. This evolved into a partnership that encompassed machine harvesting, consulting, and vineyard development.
The couple graduated from college in 1995. Lori majored in fruit science, and Troy earned a degree in crop science. His first job was as a fertilizer and pesticide applicator at Dole Farms near Oxnard.
After marrying in 1996, Troy developed vineyards in Paso Robles and Greenfield for Gallo Winery. The difficulty of securing labor led him to earn a license to hire and train workers. In time, he launched Javadi Farm Labor Contractors.
He and Lori started building their land ownership with a purchase of three 20-acre parcels in 1998, followed by another 20 acres in 2012. “Having the opportunity to gain our land base was more important than investing in a home right away,” Troy says.
Next, they added a vineyard, a shop, and then in 2001, they built a home. The Javadis acquired another 50 acres in nearby Templeton and have established 30 acres of vineyards there. They lease 200 acres of vineyards in the county and currently have 400 acres in vineyards.
The Javadis grow a mix of barley, oats, and wheat for hay. They also grow 5 acres of alfalfa and lease land for grazing.
They have a diversified livestock enterprise, including a 30-head Angus herd, several Longhorn cattle, and 28 Suffolk and Hampshire crossbred ewes. They tend a flock of 400 chickens. Each week, 40 dozen eggs are sold to restaurants, to farm stands, and to their 11 full-time employees.
“There’s a good local demand for meat and for 4-H market lambs,” Lori says.
Today, in addition to their ranch operation, the Javadis manage four enterprises.
• Javadi Farm Labor Contractors. Companies from the Napa Valley south to Santa Ynez contract for a supply of workers to handle vineyard jobs, including pruning, harvesting, and installation of irrigation.
• Meadowlark Harvesting. They operate six machines (with a team of four employees per machine) and five trucks on about 800 acres per season.
• Benchmark Vineyard Management. The Javadis perform turnkey operations for a fee, and their clients receive the crop.
• Bounty Hunter LLC. A small group of individuals invest in area properties.
Troy also works with an LA County business that conducts weed abatement in cities as a method of providing fire protection.
Skills complement each other
Troy, a seventh-generation farmer, speaks three languages. He’s in charge of daily operations, including the labor force, cultural agronomic practices, spraying, and irrigation. Lori oversees bookkeeping and handles the calving and lambing. “Lori’s record-keeping skills help ground me,” he says.