Farming is a hard field to break into. If you don’t come from a farming family, then there is a lot you have to learn and experience in order to be successful and truly take care of the land in addition to farming it. This is what makes Luis Ruiz so impressive. Although Luis has uncles in the sugar industry, he is the first in his family to be a sugar cane grower.

Luis has been working on farms for 8 years, but is fairly new to farm leadership. He has been the assistant manager of Wedgworth Farms for a year now and he is proud to have worked his way up at such a young age. As assistant farm manager, Luis is in charge of planting and fertilizing the sugar cane among other things.

Luis shared that he has always loved being outside and likes the variability in his day-to-day job. The sugar cane growers co-op structure is the perfect fit because it allows him to learn so much while gaining real life experience and facing new challenges on a daily basis.

In addition to sugar cane, Luis also grows rice at Wedgworth and his boss grows corn, which he would love to learn more about and get experience with. However, his interest in other crops is always second to sugar cane. “It’s the main crop grown in my hometown and planting sugar cane is really exciting.” Luis gets to work with a lot of people, many of them from different countries, and he shared that it’s incredible to see the crop flourish from all the hard work and labor that goes into it. It’s hard to beat.

Luis has learned that there are many different ways of accomplishing similar tasks/goals. He has learned a lot from the diverse people he works with since they all have different ways of doing things. Observing all the different techniques and ideas and then adapting and combining their styles into his own new way of doing things is something Luis really enjoys.

Luis is very passionate about sustainability and has loved learning more about sustainable farming while working with sugar cane. He shared that they are constantly testing water and soil samples. When they spread fertilizer, he is fascinated by the extreme detail and calculations done to make sure no residue is left behind and no water source is nearby. He shared that it is not as easy as it seems. “There is so much technology, hard work, knowledge, time and effort that goes into farming correctly so that you can continue to see success in your land.”

Luis aspires to be the manager of Wedgworth farms, learn to grow corn, and start his own farm one day. He wants the world to know that a lot goes into taking care of land properly. In addition to the serious work, he shared that they do have some fun. “I like to eat sugar cane straight out of the field. When we’re planting the sugar cane stalks, pretty much everyone will grab a stalk of sugar cane, shave off the outside and chew on it. It’s a nice sweet treat.” Luis knows it’s a unique opportunity to enjoy sugar cane straight out of the field, tasting the sugar we all know and love straight from the source.

 

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