Kay Filice is president and owner of Filice Farms in Hollister, Calif. She has three sons who currently are working in politics, construction (Habitat for Humanity), and economics – all disciplines which could easily complement farming. She and her extended family enjoy traveling to places that lend themselves to a little action: skiing in Telluride, snorkeling in Hawaii and exploring the cultures of Europe.
Kay Filice broke away from Iowa farmlands in the mid-70’s, moving to San Francisco to begin a career in sales and marketing. Soon after she met and married Chuck Filice, a San Benito County grower, she found herself back in farm country, working on the family farm and growing apricots, cherries, onions, peppers, tomatoes and leafy greens.
Chuck Filice was a second generation farmer with an unequaled passion for agriculture. He loved the land, the challenge and the purpose of his job. While Chuck managed the day-to-day operations of their family farm, Kay focused on their family’s apricot production and spent her summers overseeing the harvesting, drying, processing and packing of dried apricots. In 1998 Chuck passed away following a battle with cancer. Kay’s choice regarding the farm became clear: remain in business or let it go. After considering her husband’s passion for the farm and the many dedicated employees that would have to be let go, Kay decided to carry on Chuck’s vision and lead the business with the help of many dedicated employees.