New Crop of Farmers :: Juan “JP” Perez

Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Photo of a young farmer.
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J&P Organics, Salinas, CA

In 2006, JP and his father graduated from the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association’s Spanish-language Farmer Education Program. They grow “a little bit of everything” on five certified organic acres.

“It all started when I was a young boy. My father leased five acres and used to bring me to the farm—after school, over summer break, and on weekends. When I was in middle school my dad came up to me and said, ‘Hey JP, you have a choice: come to the farm everyday with me or go to school.’ I knew how hard it is to work in the fields, so I decided to continue school.

“I don’t know if it was destiny or runs in my blood, but it’s funny because my education brought me back to farming. I went to college to get a better job. I didn’t want to work in the fields. But now, I like it. I like being out there. I’m a hands-on guy. I don’t like being in a cubicle or four walls. Some people learn in the classroom and some people learn in the fields. I’m a guy who learns in the fields.

“I have my degree in my pocket, but I wanted to do to something that my family was involved in. My dad and mom, they’ve been farmers for a long time. Now instead of them working for somebody else, they work for themselves. That was one of the reasons I decided to go into farming: I wanted to do something everyone was proud of.”

Visit the farm at www.jporganics.com.