Great apples come from even better growers. These great men and women have been choosing quality over easy on their family farms for generations–keeping the environment and our customers at the forefront of all they do. We’re proud to call them our partners, and we’d like you to get to know them, too!

Jeff and Joel Crist (Father/Son Duo)

President/Manager | Crist Brothers Orchards, Inc., Walden, NY

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Day in and day out, Jeff and Joel collaborate on their 15-variety apple farm located in the heart of the Hudson Valley. Both graduates of Cornell University (Go Big Red!), Jeff and Joel apply their customer-centric focus on the daily operations of their farm and in their planning for new varieties and expansion. They also work closely with the women of the business, mom, Joy (also a Cornell grad), and sister, Jenny (the green sheep in the family with a degree from Dartmouth College). When the family isn’t in the orchards, Jeff enjoys swimming and Joel enjoys hiking, mountain biking, and canoeing.

Jeff’s favorite thing about farming: Feeding the people of this world with a healthy product.


Joel’s favorite apple variety: SnapDragon.

Kathy Kast

Owner | Kast Farms, Albion, NY

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Kathy loves the country life, which makes her role as owner of Kast Farms a perfect fit! Kast Farms is in its 6th generation of family growers, so they know a thing or two about the 24 varieties of apples that grow in their orchards. While Kathy notes that weather can be a big challenge in farming, she also applauds the Upstate NY environment as a key contributor to her favorite thing about NY apples—their amazing flavors! Kast Farms has 120 employees, many of which are her family members. Someday Kathy hopes to visit Montana to witness the state’s sheer beauty and grandeur.

Kathy’s piece of wisdom: Enjoy your time with family, life is too short.

Jimmy Zingler

Chief Strategy Officer | Zingler Farms, Inc., Kendall, NY

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Like father like son, Jimmy is following in his dad’s footsteps and taking to the orchards of Kendall, NY on the shores of Lake Ontario. While they delight in the 26 varieties of apples they grow (his fav being SweeTango), Jimmy also looks after the peaches, nectarines, apricots, strawberries, blackberries, and plums that are grown on the farm. Jimmy loves that farming allows for the creation, shaping, and improvement of products that are not only healthy for people to eat but also brings them happiness. What more could you ask for in a farm partner? He’s also got great taste in music. If there was a stereo system in the orchard, you might see Jimmy gettin’ down to “Interstate Love Song” by Stone Temple Pilots.

Jimmy’s hope for the future of farming:

I hope that farming remains profitable for small farms so that they can continue to provide food for people to live well and enjoy.

Pamela Fix

Bookkeeper | Fix Brothers, Inc., Hudson, NY

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What do you do when you love working in the outdoors and supplying amazing fruit to customers? You work for Fix Brothers, Inc. just like Pamela Fix. Pamela works as the bookkeeper for the farm and has the pleasure of working with her family in all capacities—secretary, packhouse manager, and more. A 5th generation farm and expert grower of more than 15 apple varieties, Pamela believes in the value of family farms. Her biggest hope for farming is that family farms can continue to operate and flourish. When she’s not keeping track of the financials, you can find Pamela grabbing an Evercrisp off the tree for a snack—her favorite way to enjoy an apple.

Pamela’s favorite apple recipe:
Homemade Apple Crisp