Green Giant Fresh Blog

From Barn Raising to Mortgage Burning

One of the happiest days in a farmer’s life is when the mortgage to the farm is paid off, and there were a lot of happy folks gathered at the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds earlier this month where a “Burning of the Mortgage” ceremony for two big red barns was concluded with a champagne toast.

Growers Express (a Green Giant® Fresh grower) came forward with the final $70,000 owed on a $5.5 million construction loan for a pair of ever-popular, always-busy livestock and equestrian events centers on the fairgrounds in King City, Calif. The movers and shakers of the Salinas Valley Fair Heritage Foundation attended the mortgage-burning party, as well as our own representatives and members of the community.

Planning for the two big red barns (the Rava Equestrian Center and the TOPO Ranch Center) began more than eight years ago when the Heritage Foundation was founded and made construction of the two events centers its first priority. A significant amount of money was raised and more was pledged by the community, and with a $3 million bank loan, the barns were finally built.

With ranches belonging to or affiliated with Growers Express partners literally surrounding King City, many of those donations and fund-raising events were the direct result of the participation from our own community of grower and harvester companies. Our roots are firmly established in the south Monterey County, Calif., and our partners have always played an active role in goings-on at the fairgrounds.

The mortgage burning came just a week before the beginning of the 67th annual Salinas Valley Fair, a time when the 60,000 square-foot Rava Equestrian Center and the 55,000 square-foot TOPO Ranch Center are particularly busy. An auction held last Saturday saw more than 800 youngsters selling their animals — all from two big, beautiful, debt-free red barns.


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