BLOGPeople Behind the Produce Series: Meet Francisco and Jesus, Wholesum Farms Arizona Standouts

Francisco Cardiel and Jesus Puente are two of Wholesum Farms Arizona’s most excellent and recognized crop workers. Their stories are very similar. Both men came to the United States from Mexico, fueled by the pursuit of the American Dream.

Francisco Cardiel
Francisco Cardiel

Meet Francisco Cardiel.

Hailing from Sonora, Mexico, Francisco’s early years were shaped by his experiences in construction, contributing to the development of vital infrastructure in Hermosillo such as hospitals and freeways. However, it was his connection to the land that led him to pursue a career in agriculture, drawing upon his roots in Obregon and Huatabampo, Sonora

For the past nine years, Francisco has been an integral part of the Wholesum family, with his tenure set to reach a decade milestone this upcoming June. His commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of his work, from the meticulous planting process to the thorough cleaning of greenhouses post-harvest. He mentions he deeply enjoys the process of watching a tomato grow from seed to harvest. Tending to the crops is his calling.

As a natural problem solver and visionary individual, Francisco consistently seeks innovative approaches to maximize production efficiency without compromising quality, a trait that sets him apart as a leader among his peers.

Meet Jesus Puente.

Much like his coworker, Jesus has also dedicated a large portion of his time in the US to his career at Wholesum. Arriving with his family, he found his first job at the farm, marking the beginning of a remarkable chapter in his life. With twelve years spent in the US, eight of which have been dedicated to Wholesum, Jesus embodies resilience, dedication, and growth.

Despite a temporary departure from the company, Jesus returned, drawn by the appeal of working in a year-round production site. This differed from other opportunities in agriculture where work was seasonal and growth opportunities were limited. He also noted the effect of Fair Trade Certification on the operation and underscored the importance of workers’ voices being heard in his choice to come back.

Jesus Puente
Jesus Puente

At work, Jesus demonstrates his love for the crops, where he oversees the plant cleaning process. He also ensures each plant receives the care necessary for optimal growth. However, Jesus has demonstrated that he can take on any role at the farm, often covering for supervisors in other areas when they are out. He fearlessly takes on any challenge, knowing that it will only contribute to his personal and professional growth.

Both Jesus and Francisco are fueled by a love for agriculture. But beyond these professional duties, both men are devoted fathers with great aspirations for themselves and their families. Both men envision continued growth and advancement within the company in order to provide the very best future for their families. To add another interesting parallel, both men also greatly enjoy playing soccer in their spare time, participating in teams alongside coworkers!

Both Francisco and Jesus’ stories epitomize the quintessential American narrative of perseverance, hard work, and determination. From humble beginnings to becoming respected figures within their workplace and community, both Francisco and Jesus have a bright future ahead of them!