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David Doll is the General Manager of Rota Unica Agriculture based in Portugal. He grew up on a direct-to-consumer apple and peach orchard in southern Indiana, then got a master’s degree in plant pathology from UC Davis. After a decade as a farm advisor for the University of California focused on tree nuts, he took on his current role of moving to Portugal to manage a large-scale diversified tree crop operation there. On top of all of that, he writes what I think is probably the most in-depth blog dedicated to just one crop that I’ve ever seen at The Almond Doctor. I’ve really appreciated interacting with David online and in the FoA community. I think you’re going to really enjoy his perspective here today.
“I think everyone would say the same thing, but you have to be able to be willing to know what your shortfalls are, be honest with yourself and then throw in the extra effort in order to pick yourself up. I'll be honest, I never thought I would ever be negotiating a loan that's probably more money than I'll ever earn in my life.
But you know, you walk in, you do it and you learn a few things along the way and move on.” - David Doll
David shares his experience in going from managing an operation with a $250,000 annual budget to his current operation with more than a $80 million budget. His employer felt that he could be taught the finances overtime but needed to come prepared with the horticulture and orchard experience to support their endeavors. David dove in and has learned and experienced a lot since being there.
“So the investment group is not a Portuguese company. It's actually an American company. And their thesis is food is a way to move water in a commodity that people want. That's it. It’s such a simple statement but it's right on the spot.” - David Doll
“We are taking a resource from where we have it and where it may be plentiful at a given time and producing something with it and then moving that to an area that one can’t produce that crop or doesn’t have the resources to produce that crop.” David elaborates by discussing the value of water based on whether it is from a renewable or finite resource. This is definitely a different perspective than the more short-sighted opinion of not viewing water as a significant valuable commodity. David’s blog explores some of these concepts and many other management techniques with all things almonds. “It’s kind of a niche blog but I enjoy it.”
“It's kind of this technical writing with a translational twist is what I call it. So I'm always writing about a technical subject, but I'm using that and translating that to help people understand my thought process of how I approach that problem.” - David Doll
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