Lundberg Family Farms

The Lundberg family has been producing rice and rice products since 1937, growing healthy, great-tasting rice while respecting and sustaining the earth. Today, the third and fourth generations carry on the family heritage by using eco-positive farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful rice, rice cakes, rice chips, entrées and side dishes while improving and protecting the environment for generations to come. 

Albert and Frances Lundberg moved their four sons, Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer, from Nebraska to California in 1937 and started farming rice. The current company was incorporated formally in 1974 and does business as Lundberg Family Farms. In these early years the board consisted of Albert and Frances’ sons. 

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Family Business honored 30 outstanding family businesses:

A. Duda & Sons Inc.

The Agnew Family Enterprise

The Biltmore Company

Bush Brothers & Company

The Clemens Family Corporation

Crescent Electric Supply Co. 

Day & Zimmermann

Dot Foods Inc.

The Duchossois Group

E. Ritter & Company

Elkay Manufacturing Company 

Flanagan Foodservice Inc.

Herschend Enterprises

Hussey Seating Company

IDEAL Industries Inc.

Kiolbassa Provision Company

Laird Norton Company

Lloyd Companies

Lyles Family Enterprise

MacLean-Fogg Company

Mannington Mills Inc.

Menasha Corporation

Midmark Corporation

Port Blakely

Sheetz Inc.

Vermeer Corporation

Vertex Inc.

W.S. Darley & Co.

Wittwer Hospitality/Boulevard Home

In 2000 the company’s board of directors expanded to eight to include four members of the third generation. The four brothers took turns as chair of the board until 2005. The board expanded to 10 members in June 2010, with eight family members and two independent directors.

The board in 2019 consists of seven third-generation family members and three independent board members. The board chair and CEO are family members. The board has six meetings per year, plus an annual strategic planning meeting.

The board of directors has five committees: audit, governance, compensation, nominations and related parties. Each committee has a charter and annual evaluations that are reviewed by the committee, the governance committee and the full board.

The governance committee and nominations committee are separate, allowing the governance experts to comprise the governance committee and the nominations committee to be composed of stakeholders from the board, company management and the family. The related parties committee provides oversight of agreements and contracts with family member stockholders and others, to ensure these transactions are fair and consistently processed and applied.

All board members are elected or re-elected annually by shareholders. New directors are onboarded through an orientation process. Directors annually complete board evaluations and individual self-assessments and attend recommended educational events. Several directors expand their experience by serving on outside boards and maintaining NACD fellowships.

The family has a family council, elected by the family assembly. The council has a family charter, developed a family employment policy with Lundberg Family Farms and produces quarterly family newsletters and other communications. The council oversees the operation of the Lundberg Family Charitable Foundation and organizes family meetings, dinners, a book club and an annual retreat.

Article categories: 
September/October 2019

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