Donald Christopher- Born in 1934 to established prune farmers in the Santa Clara County, company patriarch Don Christopher’s roots in California agriculture go back generations. By 1956, Don decided to strike out on his own, and armed with a loan from his father, procured his first 10 acres of land in Gilroy, CA. As Gilroy has a perfect Mediterranean climate, Don knew that this was the ideal location for nurturing the “stinking rose”. From those humble beginnings, Don expanded acreage little by little every year, continually innovating along the way. From his efforts, now commonplace products like peeled garlic, roasted garlic, and even pickled garlic, can be enjoyed by consumers the nation over. His success has undoubtedly benefited our community of Gilroy, CA, and as a co-founder of the world-famous Gilroy Garlic Festival, his legacy is enshrined for generations to come.
Don’s youngest son, Bill Christopher, grew up on his family’s prune ranch, inheriting a natural affinity for the world of farming. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in Economics, Bill joined the company in the 1970’s, leading our statewide field operations. In 2010, Bill became Managing Partner of the nation’s largest family garlic grower, and his stewardship of the company continues to this day. Under Bill’s watch, the company has successfully integrated itself into a continually globalized produce market, one of which could never have been imagined just a generation before. Faced with new challenges and complex realities, Bill has successfully navigated Christopher Ranch to become the preeminent garlic supplier in the United States.
The son of Bill Christopher, Ken Christopher joined the family business in 2010. Armed with an MBA from the University of San Francisco, Ken serves as Executive Vice President, specializing in administration, sales, strategy, and marketing. Specializing in both media and government relations, Ken is at the forefront of the fight to secure the future of American garlic farmers. Ken seeks to merge important lessons of the past with innovation for the future to further solidify Christopher Ranch’s position as the leading garlic farm in the nation.
The Grandson of company founder Don Christopher, Jason joined the family business in 2012. After a successful career in the animated film industry, Jason chose to apply his strength in leadership and his technical prowess to serve as the company’s Facilities Manager. He is directly responsible for all behind-the-scenes activity needed to power our industrial production. From monitoring cold storage, to maximizing energy efficiency, and managing major infrastructure projects, he is a key member of the Ranch’s executive team.
Son of Bill Christopher, Aric attended UC Santa Barbara, specializing in Global Studies. He first joined the Ranch in the mid 2000’s, heading up our Specialty Onion program. Following a short-lived departure from the Ranch in which he launched a successful restaurant, acquiring a critical outside perspective, he now applies this to the company as the Ranch’s Social Media Brand Manager.