Whitten Farm

Woodville, California in Tulare County

Years in Operation:
2 years in operation with US Agriculture

Leading Harvest Program User:
US Agriculture, with sustainable minded operator Jeff Warkentin (Sequoia AG Management Company)

Size of Operation:
183 gross acres – 70 acres of Almonds and 97 acres of Pistachios

Crop Type:
10-year old Almonds and 9-year old Pistachios

Whitten Farm Aerial Map

Objective 2. Soil Health and Conservation

To maintain or enhance soil health to optimize crop yield and protect long-term soil productivity on agricultural lands.


Indicator 2.1.1 Soil Quality:
Application of regional agricultural best management practices (e.g., tillage systems, cover cropping, addition of soil amendments) to maintain or enhance soil fertility and physical and biological characteristics of soil.

Indicator 2.1.2 Soil Health Monitoring:
Monitoring of soil health characteristics, including nutrients from different sources necessary to maintain or enhance appropriate nutrient balance and soil health.

Aerial Soil Map
Protected Oak Tree in the Heart of Whitten

Leading Harvest Indicators at Work

  • Whitten Farm enhances soil health through composting, soil testing, and the Healthy Soils Program.
    • Operator Jeff Warkentin secured a USDA grant for composting and reduces nutrient use on Whitten Farm through a composting program. Composting helps to improve the health of our soil by returning critical nutrients to the soil.
    • Whitten Farm works with Innovated Ag Services to handle its nutrient management plan, nitrogen reporting, and Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP). The group monitors and measures according to program requirements and alerts farm managers if adjustments are needed.
    • Whitten Farm participates in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program, which encourages farmers to incorporate conservation agriculture techniques that improve their soil health and sequester carbon. Throughout California, the program funds on farm management practices including but not limited to: no-till, reduced-till, mulching, compost application, and conservation plantings.
  • Pistachio shells will be spread on main avenues for dust control and to prevent erosion.
Almond Orchard

“Did you know?”

  • Currently, Whitten Farm has assumed that approximately 30% of the water supplied by riparian rights, on an average annual basis, will be developed into groundwater credits for future use on the farm.
  • Jeff Warkentin oversees all ranch-level farming activities, including but not limited to farm-level expenditure and inventory control, pollination, irrigation, crop scouting, pest management, nutrient management and soil health, ranch maintenance, harvesting, and crop marketing.
  • Jeff worked at Deloitte in Orange County, CA where he earned a CPA license and practiced public accounting for 2 years. From there he moved home to Visalia, CA where Jeff started a new career path working on the family dairy farm for his Father-in-Law Steve Scheenstra. During that time, they milked 3,000 cows and farmed 1,000 acres of row crops. In 2013, Jeff made another career change and started developing and farming almond trees for the family. It was his job to convert old inefficient flood irrigated ranches from stone fruit and then to plant almonds as efficient as possible.
  • Sequoia Ag Services LLC has been in business in Central California for 20 years. They currently manage 2,000 acres of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cherries. They are Global GAP (Good Standards Practices) certified and are members of the California Farm Bureau Federation.