Family-owned Lyman Orchards to celebrate 275 years

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MIDDLEFIELD — Lyman Orchards has operated in Connecticut through wars, financial panics and a World War I-era freeze that destroyed its peach crop.

As the Middlefield farm prepares to celebrate its 275th year in operation next year, the Lyman family is looking to cultivate its ninth generation of owner-operators.

John Lyman says drawing in the next generation may be a challenge. The 58-year-old Lyman is the remaining member of his generation, the eighth, to work in the business. He says it’s unclear if many others coming up in the family will help run the business to keep up with growth.

University of Massachusetts Family Business Center director Ira Bryck says family businesses typically extend to the fourth generation. A ninth-generation business “is off the charts.”