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First Person: Farmhand To Flower Tycoon

Ismael Resendiz at his protea flower farm in Rainbow on Sept. 15, 2017.

Photo by Michael Lipkin

Above: Ismael Resendiz at his protea flower farm in Rainbow on Sept. 15, 2017.

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Special Feature First Person

KPBS Midday Edition's First Person series tells the stories of average and not-so-average San Diegans in their own words. Their experiences, both universal and deeply personal, offer a unique lens into the news of the day.

Ismael Resendiz started his farming career when he was about 13, cutting sugarcane with his father and brothers in Sinaloa, Mexico. When he came to San Diego illegally in 1977, he made just a few dollars a day.

Now Resendiz is one of the largest U.S. suppliers of protea, exotic flowers originally from South Africa. He owns hundreds of acres of land in Rainbow and Baja California. Resendiz got his green card in 1986 under President Ronald Reagan's amnesty program and successfully filed for citizenship in 1992.

As part of our First Person series, Resendiz shares his story.

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