As a lifelong fourth generation farmer – Rich Johansen has been involved in public service and farm management for his entire adult life. His great-grandparents moved to Northern California in 1910 from the Dakotas, bought 80 acres and began the family-farming legacy.
Committed to serving his country and his community, Rich proudly served in the California Army National Guard where long hours taught him the valuable lessons of teamwork, attention to detail and commitment. Inspired to continue to serve, he went on to join the Peace Corps where he was trained in subtropical farming and cultural practices. Rich served in Venezuela from 1972-1974.
Johansen joined his father on the ranch in the 1970s after receiving a degree in Agricultural Economics and Business Management from the University of California at Davis. Inspired by his Peace Corps experiences to improve the production of healthy food and sustainable farm management practices, he began the transition of the family’s ranch to organic growing methods in the late 1970s.
Continuing the family farming legacy, this year Rich and his wife, Mila, celebrate 110 years of Johansen Ranch where they specialize in organically grown Satsuma and Clementine mandarins, Navel and Blood oranges, Meyer lemons, olive oil, persimmons, pomegranates, pluots, summer melons and winter squash.
An active volunteer in his local community, Rich has been engaged in many local charitable groups and non-profit organizations. In particular, he has been supporter of the Nevada County’s Interfaith Food Ministry and local food banks working to provide thousands of pounds of organically grown, fresh food each year for families and individuals in need in the community.
Rich has gained essential public service experience having served as President of the Nevada County Land Trust for two years as well as on Nevada County’s Agricultural Advisory Commission for 16 years. In January 2019, Rich was selected for an appointment to the Nevada County Planning Commission, where he serves the communities of Supervisorial District 4.
Rich makes his home in Penn Valley with his wife, Mila. They are the proud parents of an adult daughter, Olivia, who graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz and followed in her father’s footsteps serving in the Peace Corps (Ghana).