John is Executive Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of The Lyman Farm, Inc (known as Lyman Orchards). He is a member of the eighth generation of the Lyman family that has been farming in Middlefield since 1741. John’s primary responsibilities include overseeing orchard and commercial pie operations. He works closely with company President and CEO Gary Jalbert in strategic planning and product development. John is the face of Lyman Orchards with the media and public affairs. He has done just about every job at the Farm over the years except teach golf! Like his father, Jack Lyman, and his grandfather, John Sr., John grew up on the family farm, learning from the ground up the challenges and rewards of Connecticut farming and land stewardship. A 1979 graduate of Colby College, Waterville ME., John holds a BA in American Studies. After college and before joining the family business full time in 1980, John worked on an apple and pear orchard in Holland where he claims to have received his ‘formal’ education in fruit growing. John remains actively involved in Connecticut agriculture, and his industry involvement throughout the New England region has been extensive. He is currently a Director of the New England Apple Council, and a Trustee of Red Tomato. Past appointments include serving twelve years as a Director on Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors, President of the Connecticut Agricultural Businesses Cluster, Director and Vice Chairman of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station’s Board of Control, President of the Connecticut Pomological Society, Chairman and Director of the New England McIntosh Growers Assoc., and President and Director of the New York and New England Apple Institute. John resides in Middlefield with his wife Elaine. They have 3 grown children, Adam, Sarah and Laura.
“Throughout the 35+ years that I have been active in the family business, I have been guided by some basic principles. First, the ability to keep a family business going into the next generation is contingent on economic viability—adaptation to changing market conditions is essential. Second, our agricultural heritage is central to our makeup, now and in the future. Third, agriculture in the northeast can be successful and profitable, but it has to adapt to a constantly changing customer. And finally, our success is a result of strong teamwork. I also believe that the tradition that follows a family through eight generations is extremely powerful, quite tangible, and very relevant. Thus, a working knowledge of the family history is essential. The secret is to not let your tradition unreasonably burden you. Rather, let that tradition give you confidence and be your guide as you continually search for new and exciting opportunities.”
–John Lyman III