On The Pharm
Meet Tony Stevens, former dairy farmer who is now the Director of Agricultural Operations at The Pharm. Learn how Tony entered the cannabis space and what it’s like being the head grower at The Pharm.
Do you have a background in agriculture?
I always introduce myself as a reformed Dairy Farmer, from Northern Wyoming. I was born and raised on a dairy farm and operated my own dairy and farm for a number of years. I started in the Hydroponic Greenhouse business in 1998, and over the past 22 years I have worked with a few of the largest high-tech greenhouse companies in the US. I’ve been a Head Grower/Site Manager for more than 15 years overseeing the growing operations of high-tech glass greenhouses exceeding more than 80 acres in size, while growing all types of Tomatoes and Cucumbers. My greenhouse career has involved working for companies in Colorado, Arizona (twice), California, and Maine.
What made you want to work in cannabis?
The opportunity to return to Arizona with its warm sunny climate and being a part of a nascent and rapidly growing industry was the main attraction for me. After 20 years growing tomatoes and cucumbers, I was excited to learn about growing this plant and the unique challenges that it presents in a greenhouse environment.
What does your day-to-day look like?
I’m still truly a farmer at heart. I get up early and often work late. As I walk the length and breadth of my greenhouse, the plants and people tell me what they want or need to maximize their potential. My job is to work hard at providing each with all the things that are necessary to be successful – be it good organization, climate, nutrients, equipment, or just my advice and experience. I love what I do, it beats milking cows in a Wyoming winter, and I look forward each day to try and become both a better grower and person.
What sets the Pharm apart from other cultivation facilities?
What sets us apart from other cannabis operators in Arizona, or most other places for that matter, is the sheer size of what we are accomplishing. At any given moment we have more than 120,000 plants from clone to final flower and we can turn that cycle over up to 5 times per year. It is a huge challenge, and one that we have become fairly successful in making all the pieces of the puzzle work on that kind of scale. Most importantly, we are producing a clean, quality product for the market and our clients.