Grower Highlight: The Sinn Family

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The Sinn family is a prime example of what some patience, grit and dedication can bring to those who pursue a life in the hazelnut industry.

Dean Sinn began planting hazelnut trees in 1994, just one year after purchasing his acreage. He wanted to be involved in agriculture but needed a crop that provided flexibility around his full-time job; that is where hazelnuts came into play. Hazelnuts need many hours of care and maintenance, but they are more forgiving on the time of day than livestock.

One of the most important lessons Sinn learned through trial and error in these early days was to be aggressive and try new things. When he first began, he took advice that leaned conservative, but the trees had lower than expected yield. He changed the script and began more aggressive maintenance tasks; this was initially met with concerns over higher input costs, but in time, the burgeoning yields more than offset the increased expenses.

Sinn’s trees sit on some of the best soil in the valley, a benefit that has been critical to his success. He has continued to expand and diversify his orchards in the 25 years since. Sinn and his two sons now manage 50 total acres of trees comprised of McDonald, Ennis and Jefferson. In addition, the operate a receiving station to wash and clean harvested nuts for regional growers.