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You Have To Know Somebody To Buy This Award-Winning Olive Oil

Up in the Sierra foothills, Loomis resident Nivia Claussen suggested that her son’s travel baseball team, the Golden Spikes Tigers, sell the oil to raise money for their trip to the Cooperstown Dreams Park.

“If you do a car wash, maybe you’re going to make $300 or $400,” Claussen said. “If you do a bake sale, maybe you’ll make that much. But we sold something that’s healthy and made $3,000.”

A former high school teacher, Claussen added: “I’m embarrassed to admit this, but one of the fundraisers I did was selling Dunkin’ Donuts … to kids in school.”

The Terneros, who have lived in Granite Bay for about eight years, recently planted 1,200 olive trees in Lincoln, where they hope to one day provide education for fundraising groups. Their main orchard in Corning has roughly 25,000 trees — manzanilla, mission, picual and more recently the buttery hojiblanca varieties of olives.

The manzanilla and hojiblanca olives are a nod to Felipe Ternero’s Spanish roots. His family has farmed olives for three generations on 1,000 acres near Seville. Ternero’s father actually got the orchard in Corning started in 1990 with some business partners, but he wasn’t able to oversee it closely.

He learned of tax and credit problems and asked his son to take the reins. To right the operation, Lisa Ternero said, her husband worked without pay for five or six years. In that time, the IRS agent on their case got to know Felipe Ternero so well that she sent a congratulatory card when the couple had twins, Bella and Nico Ternero. Creditors would pop up, the couple said, with notes for loans that they had no record of being made.

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