The 1987 Senior Farmer Floyd Nelson, like his father, had a Union Oil distributorship delivering fuel to farmers and ranchers on the west side of Madera County. But he always wanted to farm.
Nelson took a leave of absence from the oil company in 1936 and never looked back. The Federal Land Bank helped him buy property in Chowchilla and he started a dairy with 40 cows, which eventually grew to 600 head.
He also grew alfalfa and cotton, rotating crops to improve both the soil and yield. At his most productive he worked as many as 1,800 acres.
Nelson even grew potatoes, sweet potatoes and seed carrots — any crop that might be successful...