At Aspen Produce, success is measured by having something that can be passed onto the next generation.
Aspen Produce was started by Rick Ellithorpe and his father in the 1970s. Back then, it was primarily a warehouse and packing facility that fulfilled contracts with the military. "I've always said that most of my education came from my father," Rick said. "He was a trader and peddled produce."
Family is everything
For as long as he could remember, Rick's son, Jed, had always helped out on the farm. After graduation, Jed decided to go home to the farm when most of his college classmates were going off to new cities and new jobs. Looking back on that decision, he discovered his true motivation was family.
“There were a lot of other opportunities out there, but when it really came down to it, I wanted to do something that mattered, something that was important," Jed said. "And the important thing to me was to come back after school and assist my dad on the farm with things I learned in college, help him with what he had built."
Over the years, Jed reflects on how much he enjoys working with his dad. "We’ve grown to be more of friends. We go to lunch almost every day together; we sit and talk. I’m really fortunate to spend that much quality time with my father.”
It was important for Rick to contribute to something that he could pass down to Jed as his father had done for him. Rick said, “The accomplishments that you see around here, they’re not mine, they’re everybody's. That’s my success, to have something that is sustainable through future generations.”
Aspen Produce is a proud customer of Farm Credit of Southern Colorado.