“Choose a career you love, and you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.” For Chris Frieders, that’s more than just a saying – it’s the truth. “For me, farming isn’t work,” he says. “It’s my life. It’s my family’s life. It’s what I love.”
A fifth-generation grower, Chris still lives on the Sacramento Valley pear orchard first planted in 1860 by his great-grandfather. He grows pears exclusively, including such varieties as Bartlett, Golden Bosc and Organic Golden Bosc. He believes growers should embrace organic farming practices whenever it is viable, and credits organic practices for helping improve his conventional farming and his stewardship of the land.
Why does Chris enjoy working with Rivermaid Trading Company? “Rivermaid is a family run company, and family farming companies are driven by a passion that sets them apart from other businesses,” he says. “With Rivermaid, there’s an honesty and passion for the products they put their name on. These are values that I believe in.”
With a degree in agriculture and over 40 years of field experience, Chris has become an innovator in pear production, planting varieties that will one day reduce his dependence on hand labor. He also believes growers have a responsibility beyond merely providing food.
“I’m concerned that consumers have lost their connection with the land and their food sources, and it’s becoming the growers’ responsibility to educate them,” he says. “Consumers need to know that their demands for food quality and safety are best being met right here at home.”
Chris is a Pear Growers board member and past chairman of the California Pear Advisory Board. In his spare time, he enjoys horseback riding, metal sculpture and sailing.