Farming is our Heritage


Nis Hansen

Jesse Madson Hansen

Robert Hansen

Phil Hansen

First Generation - Nis Hansen
Nis Hansen, founder of Hansen Ranches, was born in Denmark and sailed to America in 1875 at the age of 16. He raised grain and started a dairy on 160 acres of railroad land he purchased from money made in ranching pursuits. In 1888, he planted orchards. Better returns on the fruit led him to plant more fruit than grain and dairy.

In 1922, Nis served as a director for Corcoran’s first cotton gin. In A History of Corcoran, it is said that he “spent his time and effort gaining information and tackling the problems associated with farming in the Tulare Lake Basin.”  Farmers in the first half of the 20th century had to battle periodic flooding of the Tulare Lake Basin. Nis also helped organize and became the first president of the Corcoran Irrigation District.

Nis married Josephine Hutton and they had two sons, Jesse and Alex. Sadly, Josephine passed away after only four years of marriage and Alex passed at the age of 10. Nis married Jennie Louis, who also passed after a short marriage. Six years later, he married Minnie Hough and they had one son, who was named Nis, after his father.
2nd generation…
Jesse Madson Hansen was born in the town of Armona in 1887. Jesse farmed with Nis in Armona Jesse married Merle Vaughan of Hanford and settled near Corcoran, where he continued to farm in the ever-challenging Tulare Lake Basin. He lived on 640 acres, owned another 1,200 acres, and farmed another 7,000 acres in partnerships.

In addition to his time spent farming with family, Jesse served on the County Board of Supervisors, president of the Corcoran Irrigation District, president of the high school board, and president of the People’s Ditch and Canal Company.

Jesse and Merle had two sons, Phillip and Robert. Jesse met an untimely death on a fishing trip to the Klamath River of Oregon in 1948.

3rd generation…
Robert, who served as a bomber fighter pilot in World War II, lost his life in the war. Phillip picked up the family business of farming from his dad. He married Harriet Bailey in winter 1938. The 1938 flood in the Tulare Lake Basin cut their honeymoon short.

Phillip remained in farming, and was also successful in many other business ventures. Phillip and Harriet had three children: James, Jess, and Christine.

Jim and Jess Hansen

Phil Hansen

Erik Hansen

Nis Hansen

4th generation…

James Bailey Hansen and Jess Vaughn Hansen farmed the land their, father, grandfather, and great grandfather farmed.

The most significant growth of the company came during this generation. Under the great leadership Jim and Jess, the ranch doubled in size. They also created many successful partnerships. Jim oversaw the day-to-day business and farming, while Jess oversaw the equipment and irrigation operations.

Jim Hansen served as past president for Corcoran Community Foundation and Tulare Lake Drainage District. He served as a board member of both the Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District and California Cotton Growers and Ginners Association. He is the only person to have served as chairman of the Cotton Board and Cotton Incorporated. He was also chairman of the Supima Association, where he is currently the Director Emeritus. Finally, Jim served on the board of the National Cotton Council.

5th generation…

Phillip Hansen, Erik Hansen, Nis Hansen and Mark Hansen (deceased)

Today, Phil oversees day-to-day operations, still working closely with his brother Erik who is the GM of Farming Operations and Water Conservation overseeing the Hansen’s 20,000 acres of farmland, along with their cousin Nis Hansen who oversees the farm’s equipment and water wells. Phil and Erik both serve on numerous boards including: Tulare Lake Water storage district, Supima, Superior Almond Hulling, Horizon Nut and the Corcoran Community Foundation.

Phil serves as chairman of the California Cotton Growers Association. He also serves on the board of directors for multiple associations: Corcoran Community Foundation, Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage District, Cross Creek Gin, and Lakeland Dusters. Finally, Phil served as chairman of the board at Corcoran Family YMCA.

Erik serves as chairman for the California Water Alliance and as director for the Corcoran Journal. He served as board member for the EAT Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Corcoran Irrigation District, Tulare Lake Drainage District, Cross Creek Flood Control District, and Tulare Lake Resource Conservation District.

Sixth Generation

The next generation of Hansens are growing and only time will tell if they will lay roots in the family business.


Partnerships have always been part of our heritage.
Hansen Ranches formed strategic processing partnerships with Superior Almond Hulling, Horizon Nut, and Cross Creek Ginning. Through these beneficial connections, our products are processed from ranch to market-ready and sold around the world.