This summer, when California Cling Peach grower Scott Long harvests his crop, he will be continuing a nearly 100-year old tradition spanning four generations.
In 1904, Scott Long’s great-grandfather, Frederick Moffet, in partnership with business associate E.S. Welch, established Superior Fruit Ranch in Ceres, California. Instrumental to early water development, Moffet was a member of the Turlock Irrigation District Board, which brought canals to the ranch in 1917. Within 30 years, 200 acres of the property were transformed into thriving California Cling Peach orchards. Moffet managed the ranch until 1955 when he suffered a stroke and was unable to meet the demands of operation. The future of the ranch was suddenly, but momentarily uncertain. At the very young age of 18, Moffet’s grandson Sidney Long, eagerly rose to the challenge of operating the farm and continuing the family’s tradition in California agriculture. The results of Sidney’s efforts endure and almost 50 years later, his success in managing Superior Fruit Ranch is continued by his son, Scott Long.
Scott, who jumped into the farming business at five years of age when he began following his father though the orchards, became Foreman of Superior Fruit Ranch in 1985 after majoring in Agribusiness at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Today, he manages over 200 acres of California Cling Peaches, 150 acres of almonds and 50 acres of wine grapes and remains passionate about farming. “Being a California Cling Peach grower is extremely rewarding. I spend my days in the orchards working with a dedicated work force to provide an excellent product-one that is nutritious, delicious and convenient-for all consumers. It is very satisfying to know that the fruits of my labor contribute to the health and enjoyment of people’s lives.”
Since the establishment of Superior Fruit Ranch, the Long family has remained committed to the California Cling Peach industry through a myriad of challenges. As a member of California Cling Peach Board, Scott actively participated in overcoming the challenges currently facing the industry. Scott will tell you that aside from the unpredictability of Mother Nature, current trade issues pose the greatest threat to the future of the California Cling Peach industry.
“Foreign growers are currently pursuing free trade agreements and duty free access to the US market. If they are allowed to do so, their already subsidized fruits and vegetables will be less expensive than US-produced products and American producers will be placed at a severe competitive disadvantage. The American agricultural industry, and the entire economy, will be severely affected. The resulting problem is that our country will become increasingly dependent on foreign sources of food, sources that we cannot appropriately monitor with respect to food safety.”
Through his involvement in the industry, Scott pledges his dedication to overcoming current trade challenges and ensuring the availability of California Cling Peaches for the public for years to come. He does so with the hope that his children, who spend time with him in the orchard just as he spent time with his father, may continue the family’s agricultural tradition.
Located in Ceres, CA, Superior Fruit Ranch is happy to provide tours by appointment. Please call 209.538.1166 for more information.