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James grew up in Salinas. He developed a love and appreciation for plants during his travels to visit family in Alaska and through his early experiences in his elementary school’s garden. During high school he joined the FFA and decided to pursue a career in agriculture. He started out doing field trials and taking college courses, eventually working at local retail nurseries and landscape centers, where he developed his plant knowledge and a particular interest in roses. James brings enthusiasm and a real passion for plants to his work at Devil Mountain.