Fifth generation agriculturalist William Terry and entrepreneur Stephen Walden unveiled a new operation focused on bringing farming practices to California sun-grown cannabis. Rooted in verdant Santa Barbara County, Farming First Holdings, LLC has established 134 acres of rolling outdoor cultivation, possessing entitlements for what will become the largest contiguous outdoor cultivation operation in California.
Farming First offers a variety of products and services to the cannabis industry: single-source bulk wholesale flower, white-labeling; co-packaging and custom farming contracts for specific needs, including dried and cured flower, fresh frozen, and unique phenotypical and cannabinoid-specific strains. All of Farming First’s cannabis plants are sustainably sun-grown under hoop houses, focusing on rich terpene profiles expressed through the company’s hybrid farming methodology.
“Farming First isn’t just our name — it’s our mission,” said Terry. “My family has farmed California’s Central Coast region for more than 125 years, giving me immense respect for the land and surrounding community. Along with Walden and the other founders, we’ve assembled an incredible team that brings together unrivaled cultivation know-how and modern innovation, including agricultural experts, legacy cannabis farmers, lifelong entrepreneurs, and visionary designers and engineers.”
The company is on a mission to revolutionize and lead the sun-grown cannabis market in California. With a focus on sustainable growing practices and ethical land management, the company employs energy-efficient farming practices such as water-saving irrigation technology, solar-powered hoop house venting and sunlight deprivation, as well as sustainable cattle grazing on over 1,200 acres of surrounding lands. Additionally, Farming First is working with environmental groups to help protect the endangered California Tiger Salamander indigenous to its land.
“Farming First is showcasing quality flower through a diversity of strains by applying the best of indoor, greenhouse and outdoor growing techniques to our crop,” said Walden. “We like to call our farm a one-lighter because our plants are 100% solar-powered by the sun — the best and most natural source there is.”
“Today’s cannabis consumers are curious about where their product comes from: where it’s grown, how it’s grown, and the stories behind the brands they put in their bodies and bring into their homes,” said Terry. “We’re providing California operators with flower they can be proud to put their name on and anticipate launching our own lineup of product brands very soon.”
The company has raised over $35 million in private funding since its inception, with plans to expand the farm’s scale and yield.