Mehdi & Adam Orandi Family

Dr. Mehdi Orandi, a pathologist who worked and lived in Minnesota, always had an interest in agriculture. A fifth-generation pistachio farmer from Rafsanjan, Iran, where Mehdi grew up, he became interested in continuing the family tradition in the United States after reading an article about “gold grows in California”—referring to the Golden State’s pistachio industry.

The article enticed him to farming in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley. He shared the idea with his brother Dr. Ahmad Orandi, also a physician in Minnesota, and in 1971 they arranged to plant their first 120 acres with the Kerman variety. After studying U.S. climate data, they chose Terra Bella, California because it was the closest match to Rafsanjan. During the 1970s, Mehdi coordinated with the USDA to transport and deliver some of their Persian pistachio stock, which included Arya, Kalegoochi, and 12 other varieties. Younger sibling Ali later joined Mehdi by managing the farms and helping to build the processing operation in the early 1980s. The three brothers went on to pursue individual pistachio enterprises and, in more recent years, siblings Hamid and Fali joined in the pistachio industry.

In 1985 Mehdi’s son, Adam, began participating in the farming-and-processing business working on his father’s Orandi Ranch by irrigating, budding trees, pruning, spraying, roasting, sorting and hulling/drying. In 1994 he became general manager of the processing operation. In 2008, Adam branched out to form ARO Pistachios, Inc. In 2010, he purchased, rebuilt and expanded to create a full-service processing operation.

Today, the Orandi clan has seven families actively working in farming, farm management and processing. Several more family members have invested in orchards. Adam and Mehdi farm side-by-side. Adam says, “I have found my identity in the pistachio industry and feel very passionate about it …. There is nothing like the anticipation of harvest, the all-nighters during hull/dry and the relief when it’s over. I feel truly grateful to have the career that I have, and even on the hardest days, I am still thankful to work in this industry.” Then he added, “As my father says, ‘Those before us worked for us, and we work for those to follow.’”

Adam Orandi enjoys giving back to his community and educating anyone and everyone about the benefits of pistachios.
In the above photo he is shown talking to the Porterville Boys & Girls Club about pistachios as a healthy snack option. In the photo to the left Adam and wife Pamela at their wedding celebration, and a small portion of the Orandi family, May 24, 2014.

Mehdi & Adam Orandi Family

CEO Adam Orandi, ARO Pistachios, with father Dr. Mehdi Orandi, founder Orandi Ranch.