At 89 years young, Leonardo Sabori radiates vitality as he steps off the tractor near the FICO shop on a chilly early December morning. Eager to share a glimpse of his life story, this widowed father of four girls and one boy, and grandfather of seven, begins his day at 5 a.m., preceded by a quick bite to eat and a cup of coffee. Filling his hot water thermos, he heads to work.

Hailing from Querobabi, Sonora in Mexico, Sabori spent numerous years in the adobe brick building industry, traveling across various locations in Arizona before settling in Casa Grande. There, he toiled in the fields, cultivating cotton, alfalfa, and other crops. Despite facing hardships and occasional dangers, such as the loss of the top of two fingers on his left hand, he remained undeterred, dedicating the rest of his life to farming operations.

His journey at FICO commenced at the age of 58, where he took on various roles, including irrigation and equipment operation. Now, 31 years later, he expertly maneuvers a tractor, preparing for upcoming harvests and ready to tend to the fields. He fondly recalls visits and candid chats from both FICO Founder, Keith Walden and President, Dick Walden in the fields.

Life has presented challenges; his beloved wife of 57 years, Dolores, passed away four years ago. Sabori speaks affectionately of her as a devoted wife who pampered him with coffee in bed. The couple also endured the heartbreaking loss of their youngest daughter, “La Güera,” to a brain tumor. Memories of the difficulties working in Querobabi linger—earning a meager income, barely enough for sustenance, amidst safety concerns.

When asked about his source of happiness, Sabori emphatically declares it to be work. Grateful to “Tata Dios” (God) and FICO for the opportunity to work at his age, he appreciates the comfort of the company house with minimal expenses. He plans to maintain this routine for as long as possible, humorously questioning what else he would do, noting that retirement would only lead to eating and complaining about rising cholesterol levels.

In acknowledging Leonardo Sabori, we express gratitude for his dedicated years of service in the pecan industry!


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