Good Fruit Grower

December 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 79

Borton's Flat-Top Ranch, east of Pasco, Washington Members of the Borton family currently involved in the business are (left to right): Andy Birley (fourth generation), Katie (Borton) Birley (fourth), John Borton (third), Richard Borton (second), Eric Borton (fourth), Bill Borton (third), Byron Borton (fourth). Borton main plant, 2010 the family business because I truly enjoyed it." John, who graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a double major in chemistry and business, considered a career in chemistry before having a serious discussion with his father. "It was a tough time in the apple indus- try. My father and Uncle Byron were unsure of the future and didn't want us to feel obli- gated to come back to the farm. They encouraged us to consider other careers, thinking it might be time to sell the family business. Surprised by this, I decided to come back while the opportunity was still there." When they returned to Yakima together in 1972, Bill and John were "If we were going to be the future, our fathers wanted us to sink or swim presented with a unique opportunity. Rather than gradually transferring responsibility to their sons, Byron and Richard handed the reins of the business over soon after their sons arrived. John Borton reflects, "Our fathers stepped aside and wanted us to make all the key decisions not only with day-to-day operations but also the future direction of the company. If we were going to be the future, our fathers wanted us to sink or swim by our own decisions." Bill assumed responsibility for all growing operations, while John focused his attention on sales, marketing, and warehouse operations. Armed with the motivation to expand the company, they would oversee a period of exponential growth over the next two decades. When recounting significant factors in by our own decisions." —John Borton the growth of the company, Bill and John point to a number of developments. In 1979, a second fire destroyed most of the warehouse and packing line. In the process of rebuilding, Borton Fruit partnered with Food Machinery Cor- poration to develop and install the apple industry's first electronic sizer and color sorter. Borton Fruit was able to actively participate in the development of this leading-edge technology—one that would soon become the industry standard. Innovation wasn't limited to warehouse operations. GOOD FRUIT GROWER DECEMBER 2012 17 photo by john marshall

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - December 2012