March 15, 2021
From left, Erik, Phil and Nis Hansen grow cotton in the San Joaquin Valley of California.Todd Fitchette
Making high quality cotton remains a commitment of brothers Erik and Phil Hansen and their cousin, Nis Hansen. The trio does this while farming diversified crops in and around the Corcoran, Calif. area. Much of their Pima cotton is grown in an ancient lakebed that was once the largest body of water west of the Mississippi River.
Water diversions have long since left Tulare Lake dry, making it suitable for flood-irrigating cotton through a series of irrigation ditches that offer an efficient return of the unused water.
Hansen Ranches was selected as this year's Farm Press High Cotton winner from the West. They join cotton producers from elsewhere in the United States who exemplify environmental stewardship and quality production methods.
The operation is a true partnership. Phil oversees day-to-day operations of the diversified farming business. Erik serves as general manager of farming operations and Nis oversees equipment and well operations. Phil's son, Brock, is currently enrolled in college and is learning farming operations on the family farm.
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