Tracy Cavagnaro and Todd Kirmss,
Enclosure for Apple-Packing Line
Grant Award: $6,000
A 2017 AgOptions grant was the catalyst that expanded their sales and resulted in growth that exceeded expectations. As a result, they have streamlined their packing process in order to meet existing demand and to position themselves for further growth in the future.
They used their grant funds to enclose an existing structure on their property to create an apple packing house. Automating their cleaning and packing process, which had been done by hand, is allowing them to meet current demand and increase their customer base.
Tracy and Todd, a brother/sister team, are keeping the family farm alive after their stepfather, Markie Holt, passed away from a heart attack in 2009, followed by their mother Virginia Holt in 2014 after she battled cancer for three years. “It has been a hard road for us, but we decided to stay in business, not only for mom and Markie, but for us to stay together as a family” Tracy said.
Holt Orchards sells wholesale to restaurants, bakeries, country clubs, B&Bs, a local grocery store and hood hub, and retail directly to public and at weekly tailgate markets.