Dennis Holbrook grew up in a citrus and row crop farming family. After returning from Texas A&I University, and again joining the family business, he purchased the family citrus operation from his father in 1977. He soon became disillusioned with and concerned about conventional farming. Thus, South Tex Organics, L.C. was established in 1984.
Dennis decided farming organically was nature's way and the best way to grow the most nutritious and best tasting citrus. He felt a commitment to provide the consuming public with an option to purchase citrus grown naturally without the use of toxic chemicals.
Converting from decades of chemical assisted farming to organic growing methods was a daunting task. It took several years of growing cover crops and applying compost before seeing the evidence of renewed life in the soil. Another challenge was to gain an understanding of nature, how it provides benefits, and to learn how to grow in harmony with nature.
Dennis participated in a study with a Texas A&M graduate student in developing habitat areas around the fields to attract and harbor beneficial insects, a practice which has been adopted in many growing regions throughout the world, and one he continues today. It is our firm belief that sensible and natural cultural practices provide a healthy foundation to produce a healthy crop. All of the products grown by South Tex Organics, L.C. are United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
While Dennis was involved in building wholesale customers, Lynda, his wife, turned her interest to developing the mail order portion of the business after receiving numerous requests for home delivery and gift orders. Through home and gift orders Lynda continues to provide a means by which everyone can connect to organic goodness.
Since Dennis began farming organically he has become the largest organic citrus and vegetable grower in Texas, with over 500 certified acres in his operation. His product line currently consists of the famous Texas Rio Star grapefruit, several varieties of oranges, Meyer lemons, red and yellow onions and watermelons.
Dennis has taken an active part in the growth of the organic industry. He is a member of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). He is a founding member of the Texas Organic Growers Association (TOGA) serving as President and Chairman of the Board. Dennis was appointed by Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower in 1989 to serve on the first Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) Organic Certification Review & Standards Advisory Committee. In 2008 Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples appointed Dennis to the newly formed Texas Organic Agriculture Industry Advisory Board.
Dennis was appointed in April, 2002, by Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman to serve as a grower representative on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). He also continues to serve on several conventional agriculture boards in order to uphold organic interests.
Dennis currently serves on the board of Texas Citrus Mutual, an association that oversees and promotes the interests of Texas citrus growers. He is also a board member of TexaSweet, the promotional arm of the Texas citrus industry, and a board member of the Texas Produce Association. He also serves on the advisory board for the Texas A&M University Citrus Center.
South Tex Organics, L.C. has come a long way since sending its first shipment of organic citrus to Whole Foods in Austin, Texas in the back of a horse trailer. We now distribute truckloads throughout the nation and export to Canada.
Organic production is our passionate commitment to help provide healthy food and a safer environment.