Jordan Burt, Vice President and Director of Farm Services
A hometown product with deep roots in Bakersfield, Holloway’s Vice President and Director of Farm Services, Jordan Burt, is solidly invested in the Central Valley ag community and growers’ success.
Burt oversees all of Holloway’s services, from spreading amendments to full orchard and vineyard development. He and his team have grown the service offerings of Holloway from an idea to bring back spreading trucks, to a fully integrated, start-to-finish suite of services to help the grower succeed.
“Holloway had done spreading years ago and wanted to get back into it as an added benefit for our customers,” Burt said. Holloway President “Vard Terry needed someone to run the spreaders and service them properly, and with my background running equipment, I said, ‘Sure I can figure it out.’”
Burt has a reputation for “figuring it out.” He has a track record of jumping into new or emerging ag niches throughout his career. His background in running equipment started when he was in the Research and Development department at Grimmway Farms. There he researched planting and harvesting best practices for carrots. In that role, Burt got to “play with all the new toys,” as he puts it. His boss at Grimmway would find new technologies and equipment and send them over to Burt to figure out how they worked, test productivity, and report back.
“There were lots of instances where my boss would send us a new, big piece of equipment,” he laughed, “and we would have to figure out what each part did and if it improved production. It was really fun!”
After his tenure with R&D, Burt was recruited to another division at Grimmway, this time overseeing the company’s conventional and organic potato production. In this role, Burt made good use of his Business Management degree from Fresno Pacific by managing field operations for everything from seed procurement all the way through harvest.
Then came the bees.
Continuing with his pattern to figure things out and try something new, Burt was recruited by a former boss to Wonderful to help pilot a new honey bee pollination program.
“I did not know a thing about bees other than they make honey and they sting you,” Burt said. “But I guess I was crazy, and I said yes! I had a team of beekeepers and crew supervisors, and I managed operations for this new initiative.”
And it was a big initiative for Wonderful. They set a goal for the overall program to have two hives per acre of almonds, which equates to 70,000 hives amongst all of the pollination operations the operation acquired.
Burt was running 2,000 hives when he started, and got his part of the operation up to 9,000 before he left for Holloway. And that was just his portion of the project — there were many more pollination operations involved, and he played a critical role in Wonderful’s acquisition of these companies.
Holloway came calling just as Burt’s first child was born, and he was ready to be a little closer to home. When he started at Holloway, he was doing product sales on Daniel Terry’s team. He quickly advanced to regional manager for the Fresno office overseeing Holloway’s product sales reps and third party dealers, like Slover Brothers Trucking.
That’s when Vard asked Burt to “figure out” the spreaders and things started falling into place for increased service offerings.
“It was all built rather organically and always in service to the growers, and how we could help them be more successful,” Burt said. “We were doing some agronomy as an added benefit to our customers, but made that a more official service with the addition of Steve Lenander’s expertise, soil testing, and agronomy packages. Also, we saw all this waste from orchard redevelopment, so we wanted to find a better way — so we started up grinding and removal. We needed someone to run all of these new services so I said, ‘OK, I’ll figure it out!’”
The Services Division of Holloway Ag has grown so much in the past five years, that now Holloway has a complete start-to-finish solution when it comes to field development or redevelopment.
“I love that we can be there for one or two steps in the process or handle all the many steps it takes to redevelop a field,” Burt said. “When we put all of our services together, then you get Grave-to-Cradle development that lets the grower make one call, deal with one company, and get great results start to finish.”
The trust with Holloway and its affiliates is something that growers really value.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the growers,” Burt said. “They have a lot on their plate to manage on a day-to-day basis, so for us to come in and provide best-practice solutions really helps them streamline operations.”
Burt says that the most fulfilling part of his job overseeing services for Holloway is taking the grower’s vision for how they want the field to look at the end of development, and making it a reality. He is most excited about how Holloway is positioning the company to be truly beneficial to the grower and offering products and services that make life easier for their customers.
His passion for ag extends beyond work. While he did not grow up on a farm, he has dreams of owning and managing a bit of acreage of his own in the future. He would love to see his son and daughter grow up with a love of farming and the ag community like he did.
When Burt is not “figuring it out” for Holloway and the growers he serves, you can find him enjoying his large group of friends and family in his hometown of Bakersfield or obsessing over golf.
“Playing golf, watching golf, reading about golf, listening to golf on the radio — I love it all!” Burt laughed.
At Holloway, we sure are thrilled to have a leader on our team who is always willing to try new things, not afraid of a challenge, and always striving for better solutions for our customers.