Farman, Richard G. (1916-2002)

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 5/08/2002
  • Essay 7600
See Additional Media

Richard G. "Dick" Farman co-founded the Farman Brothers Pickle Company in Enumclaw with his brother Fred. They started with a small 10-acre cucumber farm and pickling operation in 1944 and grew it into a popular brand as “The King Pickle” in 13 Western states. Farman was also a star on the Washington State University Cougars football team in the late 1930s and played several seasons with the Redskins in the National Football League.

The Pick in Pickles

Dick Farman was born in Belmond, Nebraska, in 1916 and relocated as a child with his family to Kent, Washington. He worked in pickle factories during his high school and college years, and decided to get into the business after hanging up his Redskins helmet in 1944. He and his brother Fred established a cucumber farm in the family’s backyard in Enumclaw, and hired mechanic Don Grover in 1948 to develop new processing equipment.

In its early years, Farman Brothers annually packed and shipped 65 tons of pickles. The firm became renowned for its consistent quality and was purchased in the 1970s by Nalley Foods, which incited a consumer revolt when it considered dropping the Farman’s brand.

Nalley itself was purchased by AgriLink Foods, a marketing cooperative, in 1975, and the Farman’s name and its trademark “King Pickle” survived to grace seven million tons of pickles and relishes consumed by happy customers in 13 Western states in 2001.

On May 5, 2002, Dick Farman died at the age of 85.

Note: This article is part of Cultivating Washington, The History of Our State’s Food, Land, and People, which includes more agriculture-related content, vidoes, and curriculum.


David Eggert, “Dick Farman, the ‘King Pickle,’ Dies in Seattle at 85,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 8, 2002, p. B-8; “History,” Agrilink Foods, Inc. website accessed on May 8, 2002 (

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You