Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Hug A Farmer #2: Progressive Land Management

Progressive Land Management’s Mike Mobley is interviewed by Kat Merrick. Learn how their grove management services help ranches, the land and our community.

HAF2-orange-tree

Eat local, hug a farmer

According to the Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, 96,314 acres of crops were harvested in Ventura County in 2011. The County has a total land mass of 1.2 million acres and 28.1% of this is agricultural. So it’s not hard to understand why farming and farm-related industries rank among the top employers in the county.

A visit with Progressive Land Management

We recently caught up with Mike Mobley, Founder and CEO of Progressive Land Management to chat a bit about our area’s citrus crops and find out what Progressive Land Management has been up to.

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Reimer Petit Ranch – one of many farms and ranches managed by
Progressive Land Management

If you have not heard of Progressive Land Management, then this is a great opportunity to understand the important role they play in our local farming community. Progressive not only provides grove management services but also continues to be a leader in biological farming. At age 18, Mike started working in our local orchards. He quickly realized that he was “at home” working with the trees and being in the orchard.

Mike founded Progressive Land Management in 1987. Mike and the people at Progressive believe in leading by example. His passion and devotion comes through not only in his good business practices but also by being great community partners. Mike and the Progressive employees are constantly giving of their time to help our community. He is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, a member of the Santa Paula Rotary Club and provides his trucks to help with food and donation pick-ups and deliveries to area schools and charities.

Meet Mike Mobley of Progressive Land Management

We were fortunate to sit down with Mike and learn more about Progressive’s grove management services and the issues facing local ranches and farms.

Totally Local VC: How long has Progressive Land Management, Inc. been in business?
Mike Mobley: We have been in operation since 1987 – 26 years of managing ranches in Ventura County.
TLVC: What kind of ranches do you manage?
MM: We manage all kinds of fruit and nut trees from apples to walnuts. The majority of our business is managing citrus and avocado ranches. We farm both conventional and organic tree crops.
TLVC: Tell us more about your cultural management practices.
MM: We focus on the health of the biology in the soil. The healthier the soil biology, the healthier and more productive the trees become. We Improve soil fertility through the addition of humates and slow-release nutrients while maintaining a proper balance of base-saturation nutrients. This type of farming is called “biological farming” and we are able to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides that are used.
TLVC: Is “organic farming” the same as “biological farming?”
MM: Organic farming is very similar to biological farming except that all the fertilizers and pesticides we use have to be from completely natural sources. With biological farming, we can use inorganic fertilizers and pesticides but we only use the minimal amount needed.
TLVC: How do we learn more about Progressive Land Management, Inc.?
MM: You can go to our web site at www.prolandman.com or call us direct at (805) 525-6033.
TLVC: What do you hope to see in the future of farming in Ventura County?
MM: For the Ag industry to remain profitable, we must slow down the conversion of farmland to development. Also, bring more awareness to the public about the invasive pests that threaten our Ag industry.
TLVC: What do you consider the most common management problem for farmers operating their businesses?
MM: The shortage of farm laborers is the most common problem.
TLVC: How does Progressive Land Management help them with these issues?
MM: We support Farm Bureaus and the Ventura County Agricultural Association’s lobbying efforts to pass legislation to reform the immigration system in this country.
TLVC: What is one of the larger problems our area farmers are dealing with right now?
MM: Water shortage due to drought conditions is the short-term problem. Over drafting the local aquifers is the long-term problem.
TLVC: What can we as citizens do to help with this issue?
MM: Conserve household water by utilizing low-flow devices and change landscape plants to more native drought-resistant species. Long-term, all cities must utilize the water coming from their treatment plants and use it for landscape irrigation.

 

We’ll keep hugging farmers!

Totally Local VC continues to search out these wonderful stewards of the land and share their efforts with the community. Stay tuned as we track down and hug some more farmers!

Want to learn more about Progressive Land Management? Here is their contact information: Progressive Land Management, Inc. P.O Box 671 Santa Paula, CA 93061-0671 (805) 525-6033 Mike Mobley: mike@prolandman.com www.prolandman.com

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.

 

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One Comment

  1. Mike is hard-working and knows agriculture.

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