Sun Valley Packing

Reedley, California

Sun Valley Packing

Reedley, California

Farming for Generations 

Nestled in the heart of California’s Central Valley, you will find the small, charming town of Reedley. Despite its size, it plays a crucial role in California agriculture.  

Reedley stands as the primary growth location for all the stone fruit in the western half of the United States. Sun Valley Packing, owned and operated by the Jones family, is one of those stone fruit growers responsible for that production.  

While the family started in poultry, Walt Jones, the patriarch and legend of Sun Valley Packing, set his sights on stone fruit. Today, the Jones family farms just over 5,000 acres of organic and conventional stone fruit across Fresno County.  

“I’m a fourth-generation farmer,” said Casey Jones, president, and CEO of Sun Valley Packing. “It started with my great-grandfather in the late sixties and transitioned into joining up with his dad in the early seventies. The farming operation grew in a major way in the early eighties, where he brought his sons on board, and we were quickly introduced as young kids.”  

And at 85 years old, Walt, Casey's grandfather, still plays a major role in the day-to-day operations of Sun Valley Packing. His tagline and retail brand “Walt’s Pride” is evident all throughout the operation, and his leadership has helped their business become a leading producer of stone fruit. 

Sustainable Farming 

Like many fast-growing industry leaders, Sun Valley Packing keeps a keen focus on sustainability, in more ways than one.  

In their farming practices, the Jones thoughtfully steward the land, conserve resources and replenish the soil to ensure its health for future generations. By utilizing drip irrigation, they closely monitor their water usage. 

Additionally, with the help of Golden State Farm Credit, they have implemented two 1 megawatt solar facilities. This helps offset more than 80% of the electricity usage within the plant and helps reduce the power needed when pumping water from irrigation wells. 

“Being able to sustain in this business world means being a good business partner, being a good businessperson, being a good employer, having a good reputation – those are all sustainable items that are very important in maintaining a good sector in the ag community,” Casey said. 

Growing a Community 

The “people” aspect of their business is truly something they take seriously. Sun Valley Packing has over 2,000 seasonal employees, with some being the third and fourth generation to work for the Jones family. The company offers a free-of-use health clinic to its employees and their families, and many of those employees are provided with free housing. 

“We’ve helped them purchase land,” Casey said. “They farm under our umbrellas, and they run through our channels here. They’re offered the same discounts and availability of markets that we have.” 

A Valuable Partnership with Farm Credit 

One of the other relationships Sun Valley Packing values is with Golden State Farm Credit. The partnership dates back nearly 50 years with Walt and the former CEO, who were best friends. Since that time, the financial relationship has been almost completely exclusive. 

Golden State Farm Credit has helped the Jones family acquire land, purchase new equipment, maintain operations and be aggressive when purchasing new property.   

Most recently, the Jones family, with the help of Golden State Farm Credit, invested $15 million into state-of-the-art automation that will help palletize boxes, add more soft-touch features to the packing line and create a smoother packing experience. This technology will also reduce the turnaround time to less than 12 hours, from processing to packing to send-off, making it more ideal for their customers.  

In this market, staying competitive stays at the top of the list. While Casey saw a lot of competition when he returned to the family business full-time years ago, today, Sun Valley Packing remains as one of the few.  

And the investment in state-of-the-art technology will help guarantee Sun Valley Packing stays robust and can overcome the challenges of the ever-changing California agricultural space. All with the support of Golden State Farm Credit.  

“We would not be where we are without Golden State Farm Credit,” Casey said.