How Five Star Bank Helps Ag-Tech Companies

Jubilant Earth Nurseries clones genetically superior almond tree DNA and plants them in test tubes. This may sound like science fiction, but it’s part of the magic behind our customer’s success as owner of Jubilant Earth Nurseries. Not only is Arun Ohri a pioneer in the ag-tech space, but he is a passionate advocate of the intersection between science and farming.

The trees at Jubilant Earth are visibly healthier and thriving, even to the untrained eye, as compared to others seen along the route to Ohri’s orchards.

Within the first five minutes of meeting Ohri, he will excitedly talk about his business and Jubilant Earth Nurseries’ origins. He’ll speak of being raised in a loving family of farmers who could not afford a babysitter and the days his parents would lay a blanket under a tree, just for him. Today, he laughs that as result, he essentially grew up under a tree. The truth is, Ohri has turned his family’s work into a thriving business based not only on agriculture, but science.

Ohri has mastered the discipline of differentiating the healthiest trees from others. He knows what to look for from root length, to leaves and branches. Once he has determined that a tree is genetically superior (height, leaf fullness, etc.), his team clones the tree’s DNA (to see more, visit our video on our website.)

Manny Phagura, Five Star Bank’s Senior Vice President Business Development Officer, has been working with Ohri since 2015. They jump effortlessly into conversation as Ohri enthusiastically shows Phagura the progress of his trees, explaining recent adjustments made to the soil. Phagura always listens intently. There is a tangible trust and respect that exists between Ohri and Phagura – the hallmark of the Five Star Bank team’s commitment to customers and community.

“I put together the vision of this ranch, just verbally, with Manny,” said Ohri. “We sat down and talked about some numbers and what my plans were, and here we are. My hopes and dreams have come to fruition and they are right in front of us.” He gestured to the orchards before him.

“Good conversation. That is what banking should be,” Phagura added. “It shouldn’t be so analytical all the time. It should be two good people coming together with a great idea.”

Ohri agreed. “We had been closing deals at Starbucks. There is that much trust and that much respect for each other. Manny saw the vision. He saw the future and said it was awesome. Everyone thought I was crazy to plant my own orchard. Five Star Bank understands the ag-tech space and helped make it possible.”

Ohir and Phagura smiled as they shook each other’s hands. With the back drop of thriving farm land, Jubilant Earth Nurseries was, indeed, a dream literally come to fruition.
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