LoBue family honored by Farmer Bob’s World
Farmer Bob’s World will name the LoBue family as Citrus Family of the Year on June 1 to honor the impact they have made as citrus packers in the Valley
IVANHOE – After generations of working in the citrus industry, the Lobue family received the annual award for Citrus Family of the Year.
The Lobue family will be recognized Thursday, June 1, at the Tree to Table/Dinner in the Groves fundraiser event. Every year Farmer Bob’s World recognizes a family for their influence in the citrus industry. The Lobue family’s influence is the result of more than 89 years of work in the citrus industry.
“The Lo Bue Family has an outstanding record of public service to the industry and their communities,” said Robert McKellar, owner and founder of Farmer Bob’s World.
The LoBue family has been farming in the San Joaquin Valley since 1934 when Italian immigrant Filip LoBue and his three sons purchased land in Lindsay. In 1946, the family built a packing facility, which grew into a successful enterprise in the 1950s and 60s because of the number of growers selling their groves in Southern California and planting new acreage in the San Joaquin Valley.
In the years since, the family has earned industry-wide respect because of their role in promoting fresh California citrus as growers, packers and volunteers on several industry boards. The packinghouse operations in Exeter and Lindsay were sold in 2017, yet the family continues to grow a variety of citrus on 1,000 acres in Tulare and Fresno counties.
Fred LoBue, a member of the third generation of the family, said family members are honored to be recognized. Fred, Philip, Joe and Robert LoBue, along with Ron Lacey, husband of now deceased Phyllis LoBue, shepherded LoBue Bros., Inc. from 1962 to 2017.
“We’re really awed by it,” he said. “Most of the family members were surprised because we are all pretty well retired, and still being recognized for our past presence in the industry. It is a nice surprise to be honored this way.”
Today, ownership of the family’s acreage is slowly transitioning to the fourth and fifth generations.