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Board Honors Fowler Nurseries for Award, 100 Years in Business

May 30, 2012

Fowler Nurseries of Newcastle was in the limelight at a meeting of the Placer County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, May 22 for two noteworthy achievements: being in business 100 years and winning a prestigious 2012 Farmer of the Year Award.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are Sue-Dee Fowler, Richard (Dick) Fowler,
Robert (Bob) Fowler, Placer County Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt and
Nancy Fowler-Johnson.

Board members unanimously adopted a resolution applauding the business for both achievements. Fowler Nurseries received the Farmer of the Year Award from PlacerGrown, a countywide agricultural marketing program.

On May 8, the board congratulated Twin Peaks Orchards of Newcastle for its 100th anniversary and receiving a 2012 Farmer of the Year Award.

The May 22 meeting was the board’s chance to salute the family who owns Fowler Nurseries.

“What a great pleasure to read this commendation and present it to the Fowler family, who are lifelong neighbors and friends,” said 2nd District Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt.

In a memo to his board colleagues, he reported that the business was established in 1912 by Eugene “Gene” Fowler, who worked at the Silva Bergtholdt Co. in Newcastle and was asked to grow 20,000 pear trees in the highly fertile soils of Newcastle.

The company’s website salutes its founder, saying, “Gene had a passion, a true skill for growing fruit trees and, just as important, he was an honest man to do business with.”

Gene Fowler and other community members also are credited with helping get crops harvested and delivered for Japanese farmers who were sent to relocation camps during World War II.

In the 1940s, son Robert “Bob” Fowler joined the business. During that era, the family worked with the University of California, Davis on research aimed at combating virus diseases that affect fruit and almond trees and designed a unique tree digger mounted on a crawler for harvesting crops.

Fowler Nurseries also launched a program to discover new rootstocks and varieties and successfully developed several varieties of peaches.

Supervisor Weygandt noted the business continues to place great emphasis on research, pointing to its establishment of a Research and Product Development Department.

The third generation of the family to operate the business includes Richard “Dick” Fowler and Nancy Fowler-Johnson, along with their spouses Terry Fowler and Everett Johnson, respectively. The fourth generation is also highly involved with the business.

On its website, the company emphasizes it still is guided by the principles of Gene and Bob Fowler: innovation, reliability, service, responsiveness and integrity.