Almond Update: Organizational Lessons Learned in Years of Hardship

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Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Grow West, Lucas Schmidt said that several organizational lessons have been learned over the past few years. Schmidt described some of his experiences in the latest episode of the Almond Journey Podcast from the Almond Board of California. Industry members have been addressing issues of increasing costs, challenging markets, and a variety of supply chain disruptions.  Schmidt said that planning and forecasting was an area that was highlighted as needing improvement within the industry.

Organizational Lessons

“It’s very clear we can’t do it enough and think ahead enough in my opinion. You’ve got to be grounded with the day-to-day, but also be looking ahead to try to make sure your plans align to what’s coming,” Schmidt explained. “What we try to do is get the ideas, vet the ideas, build the plan, and then make sure you’re agile enough to adjust if needed. Because we are at the end of the day dealing with mother nature and weather dynamics in agriculture. So, it’s very important that you’re able to deal with facts but also adjust when appropriate.”

Another one of the organizational lessons that was learned in light of industry challenges has been the emphasis on better communication. Schmidt noted that the “just in time” mentality that was exposed through the supply chain challenges made many people look closer at who they are working with. He said the silver lining to the industry issues has been reaffirming the fact that it is still very much a relationship business in many ways.

“I think it forced all of us no matter if you’re a producer, or a service company like ours, or in import/export, the communication, it forced us all to have better discussions,” said Schmidt. “It did force us to evaluate who we’re doing business with and why. So, I think that also is healthy. Are you partnered with the right people, can you rely on them, do you know their business, and do they know your business well?”

You can find the latest episodes, including the one with Lucas Schmidt, by searching “Almond Journey” wherever you get your podcasts and online at

Listen to the segment below.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West