Farm Beat: Egg producer Gemperle Family Farms in Turlock launches online videos

jholland@modbee.comDecember 13, 2013 


Organic eggs are pictured on flats in storage, ready for distribution at the Gemperle Enterprises processing plant near Hilmar in 2008.

ADRIAN MENDOZA 02212006 — Modesto Bee

    alternate textJohn Holland
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Agriculture, Turlock; local news editor on Sundays
    Bio: John Holland has been a reporter at The Bee for 12 years. He has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and previously worked at the Union Democrat in Sonora and the Visalia Times-Delta.
    Recent stories written by John

— The time has come to bounce some eggs.

Gemperle Family Farms, an egg producer in Turlock, has launched a series of online videos about its operation and related topics. They include instructions for kids on how to make an egg bounce. (Hint: Start by soaking the egg in vinegar for a couple of days.)

“At our Gemperle chicken ranch, we think it’s important to educate customers on what makes Gemperle eggs special while having fun at the same time,” President Steve Gemperle said in a news release this week. “These videos take an egg and transform it from a kitchen staple into an interesting and engaging science experiment, recipe or craft.”

The videos are at The company posted more than a dozen to start, and others will follow monthly. The web site also has recipes and information on nutrition and the environmental impact of egg production.

The late Ernie Gemperle, an immigrant from Switzerland, started an egg ranch in Washington state in 1950 and moved the business to Turlock a year later. The Lander Avenue operation has grown to be one of California’s largest, selling eggs under various labels.

It is a key part of the industry in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. The region’s hens produced an estimated 1.83 billion eggs last year, with a gross value of $131.2 million, according to county agricultural commissioners. Merced County is the leader by far, but Stanislaus and San Joaquin are big players too.

The Gemperle family has been a major donor to local causes, such as the Turlock Community Theatre, the Turlock Regional Sports Complex, the Carnegie Arts Center and California State University, Stanislaus. It has donated more than 6 million eggs since 2000, more than half of them to the United Samaritans Foundation, which Ernie Gemperle cofounded.

The videos tell of the company’s history and its range of products, including cage-free eggs and those from the larger cages mandated by state Proposition 2.

And don’t forget all those activities for children who will soon be on their holiday break. And we aren’t talking Easter.

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