“Farming is in my blood,” says Jeff McCormack, a fourth-generation farmer whose family farming heritage dates back over 125 years. “Planting a fruit tree and nurturing it to production is my passion, and walking the orchards at harvest time is one of my greatest pleasures.”
For the last 100 years, the McCormack family has specialized in growing pears, and Jeff began contributing to that tradition in 1979 upon earning his degree in Ag Business Management at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Now farming eight orchards – including 564 acres of pears – in the Sacramento River Delta, Jeff grows multiple pear varieties to meet consumer demand. While the popular Bartlett makes up 80% of his pear acreage, Jeff also grows Sunsprite (his favorite eating pear), Starkrimson, Rivermaid Red, French Butter, Seckel and Golden Bosc. All grown to perfection thanks to fertile alluvial soil, plentiful water and the region’s perfect growing climate.
Rivermaid Trading Company has been the McCormack family’s exclusive selling agent for more than a decade now, moving a tremendous volume of fresh pears and cherries and enabling McCormack to become the company’s largest outside grower of Bartlett pears.
“Rivermaid has a great field department and sales team that work in concert with us,” says Jeff. “They make us feel like part of their family.”
A former board member of the California Pear Growers Association, Jeff works hard to keep pace with evolving farming practices. He’s also preparing to welcome the family’s fifth generation into the company when his son graduates with his Fruit Science degree. When he’s not in the orchard, Jeff serves on the Pear Research Committee of the California Pear Advisory Board, and enjoys camping, boating, reading, wine tasting and barbecuing with friends.