A true self-starter, Basil began picking up and selling naturally growing pecans to make a little pocket money in grade school. And as he got older, his passion for pecans only proliferated.
After marrying his wife Frances, Basil purchased a few acres of land with a handful of pecan trees. To collect their crop every year, Basil would personally harvest each pecan tree the old-fashioned way, by climbing up the branches and shaking them with a bamboo pole.
Not especially keen on climbing—and unable to get his wife’s assistance—Basil recognized the harvesting challenge as an opportunity. In 1965, he invented the “pecan shaker,” which eventually spawned a new, industry-transforming company.
From shakers and cleaners to crackers and shellers, over the past 50-plus years, Basil has invented several revolutionary machines; all of which have helped countless growers, both at home and abroad, improve crop yields and streamline processing.
Even after decades of inventing machines, growing his company and expanding his orchard to include several hundred acres of pecan trees, Basil continues to put in a full day’s work. He’s a thinker and a tinkerer, always looking for a problem to solve. In fact, that’s his favorite part of the job.
As for his favorite way to enjoy pecans, being the ever-faithful husband he is, Basil lovingly replies, “any way my wife bakes them.”