Anyone who drives through the Gridley area on a regular basis has seen the large Agrimillora nursery.
The Gridley-based ag company is a big part of the agriculture community and has been for more than 30 years, according to human resources director Larry Sullivan.
A major wholesaler of agricultural products, the company’s website lays out its wide variety of agricultural products.
“In the face of constant change, we research and innovate to improve trees though cross-pollination and advanced breeding methods. This creates better varieties by increasing yields, fruit quality, disease resistance, uniformity and shelf life to help feed the world’s growing population and sustain agriculture for future generations,” the company says in a statement on the website.
The Gridley location’s spot in the fertile Sacramento River Valley positions it well to supply northern California’s diverse agricultural industry. Agrimillora-California is a division of the multinational Agromillora nursery group.
Founded in 1986 in Iberia, Spain, Agromillora nursery group is the world’s largest and most innovative researcher and supplier of “in vitro” propagated rootstocks and olive plants.
Agromillora California provides superior stock, volume and expert guidance to customers desiring the most innovative, hearty California olive, fruit and nut trees as well as stone fruit rootstocks.
The company got its start serving olive ranches in the area, and has expanded its offerings over the years.
Sullivan said a lull in olive production led the company to expand into the nut business.
A few years ago, the company expanded even further, into “stone fruits” – things like peaches, nectarines, and prunes.
“We provide millions of trees to growers year after year,” the company says on its website.
So many trees, in fact, that the company has gone through a major expansion over the past 18 months – one that has seen its workforce basically triple.
A major expansion saw the company’s greenhouse area double. The old facility is dedicated to the olive production, while the new facilities are geared to the newer fruit and nut operations.
In December of 2015, the company had about 50 employees.
Today, it has more than 300, which includes contractors.
Doing that math, that’s nearly a sixfold increase in employment in a little over 18 months.
Sullivan said the company is well-positioned for future growth, as well.
“The ag business is crucial to California,” Sullivan said.