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In Memory of Bud Kinney

Bud KinneyBud Kinney was born in Humboldt Kansas in 1927, and in 1937 the Kinney family picked up roots looking for a future in the fertile Sacramento Valley. Bud was 10 years old when they arrived in Chico. He attended the local schools always finding time to help by doing chores around the yard, having a paper route or other odd jobs to help the family in rough times. At Chico senior high Bud was very involved with the agricultural classes he attended, and even took on summer projects taking care of the high school farm and managing small plots of land, and in 1945 he finished his education at Chico Senior High.

Bud had an eclectic career path from dairy farmer, milk route, working on different ranches, to truck driver but no matter what the job, he was always the first to show up and the last to leave. Bud enjoyed working in agriculture, but his true love was heavy equipment. He worked in the gravel and concrete business for over 50 years, from operating equipment to managing the entire concrete batch plant. Bud always put 100% into his work no matter if it was for his employer or for himself.

Bud KinneyIt was 1969 when Bud married Rena, a Chico local. After retiring Bud couldn’t sit still for long so he acquired a fleet of trucks and operated one of them making local deliveries while managing two other drivers. Bud and Rena both enjoyed working outdoors and they didn’t mind the long hours. Bud and Rena tried their hands at several endeavors. They became interested in Vermiculture, the raising of worms; soon they were shipping worms throughout the United States. They developed their property into a subdivision naming their streets after their sons Todd and Brett. They had outgrown their Chico location looking for wide-open spaces Bud and Rena moved their family out to the Vina plains.

After moving to Vina, Bud decided to try his hand at cattle ranching for a second time. He was still doing Vermiculture and it was becoming very successful. The cattle ranching soon lost its luster so Bud and Rena invested all their time into the business of worms. Bud would haul manure from local dairies for the worm beds, while Rena counted and sorted the worms for shipping. Seeing that not only the worms were valuable, but their castings (manure) made an unbelievable soil amendment. Bud worked with a local fabricator to create a custom worm harvester, and soil screener. Soon they were developing worm castings and selling them throughout the north state and for a short time bagged the product to sell in stores. Over the years Bud and Rena with the help for their sons created a line of custom soil blends with Bud delivering them wherever they needed to go. Todd and Brett both enjoyed working with their dad and mom on the family business, both bringing different talents to the business. Bud was very dedicated to the family business. Even up into his 80’s he put in long days on his loader. Not because he had to, but because he wanted to.

Bud worked hard, but he worked hard for those he loved. He never missed a Little League game, Christmas play, school event or any other event his sons were involved in. He was a dedicated husband, remarkable father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. His dedication and love to his family will always be remembered. Bud passed away on May 7, 2012 at the age of 85 years and he will always be in our hearts and minds.