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Greenhouse pioneer retires from Sun Valley Farms

After 26 years in the USA Greenhouse industry, Dave Fahrenbruch is retiring from Sun Valley Farms Inc. of Loveland, CO. In 1993 Fahrenbruch started with Colorado Greenhouse as the vice president of sales and marketing, responsible for over 260 acres of production with greenhouse sites in Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico. Six years later he left and co-founded SunBlest Farms, a niche 12-acre greenhouse grower in Payton, CO, and stewarded the company’s expansion by acquiring most of the Colorado Greenhouse’s assets from bankruptcy protection, growing SunBlest to 194 acres when he left the company in 2004.IMG 6268

Having built an incredible network of growers and retailers, Fahrenbruch shifted gears from growing operations to greenhouse marketing, starting Sun Valley Farms Inc. in Loveland. By 2007, Sun Valley marketed for a network of growers with 170 acres greenhouses in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, New York, Virginia and Mexico. At the time, it was listed as the fifth-largest greenhouse producer in the United States. As the industry shifted and the smaller greenhouses that made up SVF acreage were acquired and consolidated by larger industry players, Fahrenbruch revised the model and began working with large greenhouse producers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico to sustain the company's position in the industry and meet retail customers’ demands.  

In 2015, Sun Valley was acquired by Houweling’s Group, with Fahrenbruch staying on as the chief executive officer until his retirement this December. Alongside him for most of the way has been Craig Olson, vice president of sales at Sun Valley.

“I’ve spent 23 years working with Dave and couldn’t have had a better mentor to work with throughout my career," said Olson. "His passion for detail and never ending desire to be the best was his trademark and he wouldn’t except anything less. Dave’s ability to adapt to an industry that has changed immensely over the course of two decades and build a successful company with high level retail partners is nothing less than a gold medal achievement in my books. I will miss seeing him every day in the office, beyond our excellent working relationship over the years, I’m proud to call him my best friend.“

With Fahrenbruch’s retirement, Olson will follow in his mentor’s footsteps as he has been named general manager of Houweling’s Colorado, an updated d.b.a. for Sun Valley Inc. to better reflect that office’s position as an integral location in Houweling’s Group of companies servicing retailers in Canada and the USA.

Having counted Fahrenbruch as a competitor, a customer and colleague over his career,  Houweling’s Group CEO Kevin Doran said,  “Dave is a formidable entrepreneur and leader who has contributed greatly to our business, he will most certainly be missed. He leaves behind a great team in Loveland, and with the leadership going forward of Craig Olson, the successes are sure to continue.”

In retirement Fahrenbruch will have the opportunity to spend more time with his wife, Deidra; daughters Shallyn, Kaelyn and Ashlyn; and step-son, Denton, while continuing to foster his passion for classic cars and motorcycles.

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