Rob Dhaliwal owns and operates Samson Farms in Lynden, Washington. He produces raspberries, blueberries and black currants.
Samson Farms is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the Nooksack River Valley of Washington. The area’s climate is optimal for growing raspberries, blueberries and black currants.
In the beginning
In 1973, Rob’s father, Sam Dhaliwal, immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Punjab, India. While growing berries was the furthest thing from Sam’s mind when he first made the move, farming had always been in his blood. Four years after arriving in Canada, Sam purchased his first ten acres and planted raspberries, laying the foundation for what would eventually become Samson Farm.
Over the next 10 years, Sam experimented with several other crops including Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and strawberries. But regardless of what he tried, Sam always came back to raspberries.
Sam began farming when Rob was just one year old. Throughout his childhood and young adulthood, Rob remembers his dad being out on the farm constantly, demonstrating his true passion for agriculture.
Relocating and expanding the business
Over the course of Sam’s first ten years in agriculture, land use challenges in the ever-growing Fraser Valley convinced him to sell his land and move to move his operation to Washington, in the U.S. In 1987, Sam planted his first 35 acres of raspberries in Washington.
In the early 2000s, Sam added a fruit processing facility to his operation. This new development ensured that Samson Farms could manage all the steps of their berry production, from planting and harvesting, to processing and packing.
Farm Credit has been there to help
In order to vertically integrate their business, the Dhaliwals needed financial support to construct the new buildings and invest in the high-tech equipment that would help take their business to the next level. Northwest Farm Credit Services was there to help.
“We choose to do business with Farm Credit because they understand the business of agriculture,” Rob said. “Once we built that relationship, our loan officer at Farm Credit started to understand who we are, how we operate and in times of need they are able to step up.”
Rob’s leadership role of Samson Farms began in 2011. Today, Samson Farms produces nearly 300 acres of raspberries, 135 acres of blueberries and 40 acres of black currants. The processing plant has also grown in size and advanced technologically. The most recent addition to the processing plant is the Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) line, which enables Samson Farms to package high quality fruit for their consumers.