Meet the Growers: Gene Adolph
The distinct flavors of Montanya Distillers rum begin in the fields of Louisiana, where farmers grow sugarcane for the Lula/Westfield Sugar Mill. Like us, our farmers and millers share a commitment to stewardship and conservation. All of our sugar cane is family-grown, non-GMO, and certified American grown (learn more on our Transparency page).
Even better, we know the mill owners, operators and farmers personally. Gene Adolph is one of the area farmers who grows about 500 acres of raw cane for the mill every year. He brings a lot of passion to growing a crop we depend on, and was game enough to be the first up in our “Meet the Growers” series:
“Since my father ran the farm, people have always come first and we strive to serve them as well as they serve us. One of our current workers has been with us since his teens, about 45 years ago.”
Gene Adolph, Sugar Cane Farmer
On the Importance of Relationships
I live on a family farm about five miles south of the mill, and since our local mill closed (which was about one mile away) we decided to team up with the Lula/Westfield group to process our cane. We love the relationship we have with them.
I take pride in establishing good relationships with people, especially my two full-time workers. Since my father ran the farm, people have always come first and we strive to serve them as well as they serve us. One of our current workers has been with us since his teens, about 45 years ago.
Away from the Fields
When I’m not hard at work, I’ll be playing tennis, guitar, piano, singing, doing volunteer work, or just spending time with family. I also have taken up flying and hope to have a private pilot’s license very soon.
I also have a degree in philosophy and love to read theology. I have also written some cool songs and poetry. YouTube “farmgene”. I find God challenging. I also taught high school for three years before becoming a farmer.
I do like to travel with my wife. We sometimes have taken quick trips to the Caribbean to unwind after stressful harvests. I hope to one day visit Ireland. I think it’s pretty there. I’ve often joked of my fantasy of going to a bar there, playing chess, drinking Scotch, insulting an Irish hero, and getting into a brawl.
I grew up in the very house I am living in now. My family owns the farm and they let me live in the house here while I take care of the land. I lived in nearby towns for a few years after college and eventually moved into the farmhouse here when I started. I replaced my brother who decided to do other work. (Farming isn’t for everyone.)
My wife and I have two inside cats. One is neurotic and the other is peaceful. We generally take care of any cats or dogs that take up residence on the farm.
I am proud of my three kids and am passionate about just trying to be a good person. All of my kids have done very well academically and continue to pursue their own interests. My daughter, Regan, lives in Memphis and works for an educational non-profit. Son Spence will graduate from the Air Force Academy and will attend Texas A&M for a masters in computer science. Wesley has started LSU in ag-business. My kids are older now and my wife and I are newly empty nesters. (Aside from the cats.)
My life is phenomenal. My family is wonderful and I am blessed to be married to my best friend for 25 years. My wife, Julie, inspires me. So do my kids. I’m 51 and hope to be here another 40 years. Life is a gift. Montanya makes it sweeter. I’m enjoying some now.