Conklin, Michigan
Dietrich Orchards

The Dietrich-owned Ridgeview Orchards and Leo Dietrich & Sons, produce millions of pounds of apples annually
Apples, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Field Corn, Green Beans, Peaches, Soybeans


Dietrich Orchards history

Dietrich Orchards is the family-owned and -operated packing plant for two branches of the Dietrich family tree that have been growing apples for generations. The Dietrich-owned Ridgeview Orchards and Leo Dietrich & Sons, produce millions of pounds of apples annually. To exercise the best quality control over their fruit, the family formed Dietrich Orchards to store and pack the apples. Dietrich Orchards is managed by Eric Hessler. He grew up in the West Michigan area surrounded by the apple industry. Hessler enjoys working closely with the Dietrichs because they stay so involved in every facet of the business – including the final product. “The Dietrichs are an exceptional family to work for,” he says. “They’re directly involved in day-to-day activities to make sure everything is running smoothly.”


As Ridgeview and Leo Dietrich & Sons have expanded over the years, they’ve also grown and improved the packing facility to accommodate larger numbers. As the families’ orchards have expanded, a series of upgrades and expansions at the packing plants have kept pace. Currently, the Dietrich Orchards plant can pack 220 bins per shift, turning the unsorted field bins of apples into retail-ready bags, trays and cartons of unblemished, high-quality fruit. And they have plans in place to more than double the size of the packing plant. Much of the increase in daily production is the efficiencies brought by implementing a new sizer, doubling capacity to 48 bagging lanes. The sizer also increases efficiency by more accurately measuring bag weight. “Customers hold us accountable. So when we promise a certain weight in each bag, they check to make sure,” says Hessler. “Customers can send back a whole delivery if one bag’s weight is less than what’s printed on the bag.” Another…