(Nov. 26) COACHELLA, Calif. — It probably would have been a day of pride for the late Palmer Powell, founder of Peter Rabbit Farms, when his three grown grandchildren took the helm of the carrot business he started 53 years ago.

On Nov. 17 just that happened, only Palmer’s son, John Powell Sr., was the one to soak up the moment when he passed manage-ment down to his three children.

John Powell Jr., formerly chief financial officer, is now the president and chief executive officer. Steve Powell, who formerly over-saw farm vegetable operations, promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and Suzanne Powell was named senior vice president of marketing and business development from her former post of vice president of sales and marketing.

John Powell Sr., 68, will be chairman of the board.

“We were aware this was coming, only we didn’t know exactly when it would happen,” John Powell Jr said.

The elder John Powell held the position after his father died in 1988.

The new management plans to maintain what has been a secret to their success — being a California-based and -grown company.

John Powell Jr. joined Peter Rabbit Farms in 1987 and is a graduate of Stanford University. He was involved in finance, account-ing, legal affairs and real estate in the business.

Steve Powell graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and joined the company in 1989. Since then he has managed vegetable growing operations in Coachella, Bakersfield, Lancaster and the Imperial Valley. Suzanne Powell graduated University of Southern California and joined the company in 1988 after she had spent 10 years working elsewhere.