Linda Orandi ’96 comes from an eight-generation line of pistachio farmers with roots in Iran dating back 200 years. When her father, along with his brother, immigrated to America, he felt the pull of the family business guiding him to California’s Central Valley farmlands. He purchased land there and planted the pistachio varieties he had brought from Iran. Those seeds grew into the thriving pistachio business Orandi now leads as CEO. A&R Pistachios grows four pistachio varieties and produces 700,000 pounds of pistachios each year. They can be found in familiar brands such as Kirkland Signature, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. Orandi, who lives in Los Altos in Silicon Valley, regularly makes the four-hour trip to the farm, where she gets her hands dirty — literally — overseeing the orchards. Below, in her own words, is a day in the life of a pistachio-farm CEO.
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