This week on The Farm Report, host Erin Fairbanks is joined in the studio by Matt Nielsen, the chief operations officer for Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Inc. and Managing Director of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas International BV.

Matt began working in the family business when he was 15 years old, sweeping floors and cleaning tanks; today his responsibilities include overseeing all operations at the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Waukegan, Illinois, as well as its manufacturing facility in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

 Matt Nielsen


NM Retail Fam

“There’s a lot of little nuances to it that people don’t think about: the fact that it’s from an orchid, that it’s grown in tropical areas, and that it has to be hand-pollinated. It’s a huge part of why the process is so long, and why vanilla is so expensive, the second most expensive spice after saffron.” [4:55] – Matt Nielsen