H.M. Holloway, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of agricultural gypsum, today distributes nearly one-half million tons of premium-quality gypsum each year for use in Central California. Backed by more than 70 years of service to the San Joaquin Valley. We combine complete mining, milling, monitoring, spreading and radio-dispatched delivery capabilities.
It was during the Depression of the early 1930’s that Harvey “Dad” Holloway discovered the mineral that was to change his destiny and the destiny of the Valley’s agricultural lands. He was working as an oil field caretaker in the Lost Hills area when he first noticed outcroppings of a strange white mineral. He would watch a few local farmers carry off wagon loads of the mineral to put on their crops. Holloway’s curiosity prompted him to take samples into Bakersfield for analysis. The lab informed him that the substance was calcium sulfate, or gypsum, a mineral known to neutralize alkali in soil and improve water penetration. Holloway concluded that the substance might have a commercial value.
With the assistance of his son, Albert, he acquired a lease for a 40-acre parcel of land, and, in 1932, launched his gypsum mining operation with not much more than a pick and shovel. Holloway was creative when it came to marketing his gypsum. He knew a farmer who had a 40-acre alfalfa field on Highway 46, the main thoroughfare in the area. The farmer agreed to let him put gypsum on one half of the field. Soon, Holloway’s marketing intuition paid off. The farmer’s yield doubled on the half with gypsum, and the lush growth in a side-by-side comparison was evident to everyone traveling on 46. News of this valuable soil amendment traveled quickly, and Holloway was in business.
Today, the company that started with a pick and shovel is a thriving business. Holloway gypsum has been used throughout the San Joaquin Valley to reclaim alkaline soils, improve water penetration, and in the final analysis — increase crop yields, the goal of every farmer. Call toll-free 1-800-441-7887 for information or to set up delivery.