Don B. Huntley
Class of ‘60 Animal or Husbandry
Partner, Huntley & Moore
As a student, Don Huntley was a member of the rodeo club. One of his favorite Cal Poly Pomona memories was breaking and training an enormous Percheron draft colt to an English saddle in the advanced horse husbandry class.
Huntley’s background in biology and chemistry, combined with a thesis on a particular blood disease in cattle, brought him to the San Joaquin Valley after graduation, where he joined American Cyanamid Corporation in animal health sales. With a keen business sense, Huntley entered into permanent tree crops in 1966 through a partnership, Huntley & Moore. He also gained a real estate license and specialized in agricultural and recreational land.”
By 1982, pistachios were being raised. Today, with 640 acres of some of the richest soils in California, his very best pistachio nuts are sold through Williams-Sonoma, a leader in the gourmet food market.
In 1996, 140 additional acres were planted with cherries. “Having success in cherries is like trying to line up the stars,” says Huntley. “Many applications of foliar sprays, pruning, good pollination, no rain, and a measure of luck are required for a good cherry crop.” Cherries are very site specific, and Huntley is recognized for successful experimentations with cherries from around the world.
A proud alumnus, Huntley’s experimental interests are credited to learning about genetics in the classroom. He credits his soils class for his understanding the value that great soils bring to permanent crop acreage. Huntley has provided his expertise to the college’s external land review committee on future land planning. He served on the California Pistachio Association board and belongs to the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, Tree Fresno and the California Farm Bureau Association.
“If life has taught me anything,” says Huntley, “it’s that tenacity, persistence, inquisitiveness, and patience, in any endeavor, are omnipotent over all areas.”