The Pecos River valley, just south of Roswell, has been home to farming for over 100 years due to its world-class aquifer. The water is closely safeguarded. At a time when most dairy farmers were becoming part of larger cooperatives, Gerry and his partner, Jeff, had the idea of developing a vertically-integrated dairy operation that would produce, bottle and distribute milk to the region. Gerry took on the reigns of the dairy and Jeff took control of the operation of the bottling plant.
To those unfamiliar with dairy farming, it is a combination of hard work, long days, and the need to be familiar with the constantly-evolving sciences of crop cultivation, animal husbandry, and cow health. This includes maintaining the best possible environmental conditions for the animals as well as animal nutrition. A dairy farmer needs to be familiar with waste management and Gerry was a firm believer of using composting for nutrient recycling to the crops.
To keep up with all the work, Gerry’s four children eventually became involved in the operation. In between sports practices and games, his three sons and daughter milked and watered cows, maintained cow pens, took care of calves, and helped with the books. Eventually, Gerry’s oldest son, Jason, took over as farm manager.
Thirty-five years later, after all the ups and downs of growing their business from a couple of hundred milking cows to over 2,200 and producing countless cartons of milk for the regional education system, it was time to do something new. In 2014, Gerry sold the cows and the following year, together with his sons and some friends, applied for a New Mexico medical cannabis license.
The family did not know anything about growing cannabis and yet in 2015, they received their license. Gerry’s second son, Clinton moved back to the farm from Texas to get the new business, Pecos Valley Production (PVP), off the ground. PVP built its first greenhouse cultivation facility in the summer 2016 and opened its first dispensary in Roswell in August that same year. PVP ended 2016 with nearly $377,000 in revenue and a loss of over $400,000.
The initial days of getting their new business, that involved the once-illegal cannabis, underway, and in a conservative farming region, were difficult for the family. Many local businesses frowned upon the endeavour. The family put their heads down, however, and continued to pursue their new venture.
PVP added two new dispensaries in Carlsbad and Las Cruces in 2017. Gerry’s daughter, Cristina, helped operate the Carlsbad facility that year. After some disagreements with their investors, which led to a parting of the ways with the Roswell dispensary manager, Gerry’s son, Jason became involved with the company on a part-time basis. PVP ended 2017 with $2.3m in revenue and losses of over $600k. Undeterred, the family continued to put all efforts into expanding the business.
The next year saw the opening of PVP’s fourth dispensary in Clovis along with a protracted legal battle that resulted in the final separation of some shareholders who did not share the vision of reinvesting all available proceeds into growth. PVP did some financial restructuring and brought in additional management to help the family continue to pursue its cannabis development. PVP finished 2018 with $4.2m in sales (up 80% from the previous year) and was essentially at a break-even point.
Jason came on board full-time in 2019 to serve as the lead in cultivation and processing, while the youngest brother, Kyle came aboard to work in the dispensary operations. In addition to the three brothers at the helm, two of the brothers’ wives came on board to help out with HR, payroll, and the medical training of the company and its patients. With the management team complete, and an increase in plant count, the company moved quickly to open another three dispensaries in Southern and Eastern New Mexico. PVP finished its third full year of operation with $7.2m in sales and became one of the top 5 largest producers in the state.
The company added two additional dispensaries in early 2020 and continues to aggressively expand its cultivation and retail capabilities. Growing a new business in a competitive market, while managing over 120 employees and operating during the COVID-19 pandemic has provided its share of challenges. Add the dynamics of a large family and there is never a dull moment. While they have plenty of disagreements about how to best move forward in the various areas of the business, the family have learned to provide each other support to work through the challenges.
The goal of this one-time dairy family is to develop a long-term cannabis business that provides the highest quality product at the lowest price to customers throughout New Mexico. Their background in large-scale vertically integrated agriculture and a family that supports each other no matter what has a solid basis to continue their quest.
Company Name: Pecos Valley Production
Corporate Office Number: (505) 933-5936
Official Instagram: @officialpecosvalleyproduction
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PecosValleyProductionNM/