A group of Glenn County, Calif., walnut growers are determined to prove the skeptics wrong.

Nine northern California walnut growers saw the need for a premium walnut processing facility in Glenn County. Permits in hand, they began pouring concrete in April 2012. Five months later they were receiving product.

“Our initial $15 million phase was put in debt-free,” said Tim Merrill, marketing and sales manager for Omega Walnuts. “That’s how committed our owners were to this project.”

Merrill was hired by the ownership to design the state-of-the-art facility from scratch.

Merrill’s own management company – Omega 3 Walnuts – is named after the healthy fatty acid walnuts produce and because Merrill saw the opportunity “truly as a gift from above.”

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The name choice of the new walnut company – Omega Walnuts – was the sole decision of the ownership group, Merrill said.

Partners in Omega Walnuts are all growers of diversified crops in Glenn County. They are: Michael and Kerry Billiou, Chas Demmer, Gary Anderson, Matt Southam, Todd Southam, Keith Larrabee, Scott Larrabee and Eric Larrabee.

“When I got here this place had 200 goats and 50 corrals on it,” Merrill said.