Governing Board Bio

John K. Ledbetter, Chairperson

Although John Ledbetter grew up driving tractors on the weekend, as a young man he wasn’t sure farming was how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. After graduating from Fresno State University with a degree in Ag Business/Ag Economics and spending six years in the U.S. Navy, he’d made a pretty good life for himself as Fresno Branch Manager with the Farm Credit System. John, his wife, Edyth, and their two children liked their lives in Fresno. But when John’s father, Keith Ledbetter, asked him to join the family vineyard management business in Lodi, John made the move. It was 1978. Looking back, thirty years later, John says it’s the best move he ever made.

 

John’s business insight was a benefit to his father’s company, Vino Farms, Inc. Over the next couple of decades, he and his brother Jim, who had joined the business several years earlier, took the company from a couple thousand acres of vines and a few dozen employees to over 11,000 vine acres and over 100 employees. Branching out from Lodi to Sonoma, Napa, Santa Barbara and several other growing regions, today Vino Farms grows over a dozen different wine varietals on 11,000 acres, and sells to nearly 80 plus wineries throughout California.

 

John, who was one of the early graduates of the California Ag Leadership Program, has always taken an active role in wine industry organizations. An influential leader, John is a Past Chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Past President of Lodi District Grape Growers, Past Chairman of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, Past Vice-Chairman of Winegrape Growers of America, a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and is Supreme Knight of the Knight of the Vine.

 

As a winegrape grower, John has been on the forefront of the California wine industry’s sustainability movement. Vino Farms was one of the earliest adopters of many of the sustainable farming techniques in common use today. John worked closely with the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission on integrated pest management programs and the development of the Lodi Rules program. But to John, sustainability is as much about Vino Farms’ employees as it is about the environment.

 

John has been married to his wife Edyth for 41 years; they enjoy spending time with their daughter Kimberly and son-in-law Matt, their two grandchildren Ethan and Austin as well as their son, Craig and daughter-in-law Suzanne.

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Lodi, CA 95241

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Copyright 2017 © Lodi Community Foundation, Inc.

Although John Ledbetter grew up driving tractors on the weekend, as a young man he wasn’t sure farming was how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. After graduating from Fresno State University with a degree in Ag Business/Ag Economics and spending six years in the U.S. Navy, he’d made a pretty good life for himself as Fresno Branch Manager with the Farm Credit System. John, his wife, Edyth, and their two children liked their lives in Fresno. But when John’s father, Keith Ledbetter, asked him to join the family vineyard management business in Lodi, John made the move. It was 1978. Looking back, thirty years later, John says it’s the best move he ever made.

 

John’s business insight was a benefit to his father’s company, Vino Farms, Inc. Over the next couple of decades, he and his brother Jim, who had joined the business several years earlier, took the company from a couple thousand acres of vines and a few dozen employees to over 11,000 vine acres and over 100 employees. Branching out from Lodi to Sonoma, Napa, Santa Barbara and several other growing regions, today Vino Farms grows over a dozen different wine varietals on 11,000 acres, and sells to nearly 80 plus wineries throughout California.

 

John, who was one of the early graduates of the California Ag Leadership Program, has always taken an active role in wine industry organizations. An influential leader, John is a Past Chairman of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, Past President of Lodi District Grape Growers, Past Chairman of the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission, Past Vice-Chairman of Winegrape Growers of America, a member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and is Supreme Knight of the Knight of the Vine.

 

As a winegrape grower, John has been on the forefront of the California wine industry’s sustainability movement. Vino Farms was one of the earliest adopters of many of the sustainable farming techniques in common use today. John worked closely with the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission on integrated pest management programs and the development of the Lodi Rules program. But to John, sustainability is as much about Vino Farms’ employees as it is about the environment.

 

John has been married to his wife Edyth for 41 years; they enjoy spending time with their daughter Kimberly and son-in-law Matt, their two grandchildren Ethan and Austin as well as their son, Craig and daughter-in-law Suzanne.