Naumann Clan to Be Feted as Farm Pioneers


Dan Naumann and his brother, Philip, farm 600 acres of celery, broccoli and cauliflower on the Oxnard Plain. Their dad, Alvin, tried his hand at beans, peppers and lemons.

Granddad Gustav grew sugar beets and beans, the same as great-granddad Samuel.

Altogether, the four generations of Naumanns represent more than 100 years of farming in Ventura County.

And they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Younger Naumanns already are studying new growing and marketing techniques so they can take their place in the family business one day, Dan Naumann said.


“There’s always a lot of change in agriculture,” said Naumann, 37. “We try to be on the leading edge so we won’t fall behind.”

The Naumanns will be one of three Ventura County families honored tonight for their role as pioneers in county agriculture. The other families to be recognized are the descendants of farmers Antone Baptiste of Somis and William W. Coultas of Camarillo.

The Pioneer Dinner in Camarillo is put on each year by the Ventura County chapter of California Women for Agriculture, said organizer Lorraine Finch. To qualify for recognition, a family must have been in farming for more than 100 years and must still be involved in Ventura County agriculture, she said.

“It’s a way to recognize the importance of agriculture in our county,” Finch said. “It is still the No. 1 industry here.”

Samuel M. Naumann, the family’s patriarch, moved his wife and nine children from Germany to the Oxnard Plain in 1886. The family initially farmed sugar beets and lima beans but eventually moved to citrus, and, much later, row crops, Dan Naumann said.

About 50 descendants still live in Ventura County, but only two families are actively involved in agriculture, he said. He and Philip run Naumann Farms from their office on Etting Road, and three Naumann cousins, Frank, Richard and James, grow citrus nearby.


The Baptiste family moved to the county from its native France in 1885. Antone Baptiste and his descendants eventually acquired 1,000 acres of land, much of which is still planted in citrus, family members said.

William Walter Coultas moved to Ventura County in 1887 from Winchester, Ill. When the family held a reunion in 1987 to celebrate 100 years in Ventura County, hundreds of relatives from all over the United States gathered.

The Coultas family still operates citrus and row crop operations in Oxnard, Ojai and Santa Paula.