The history of Fusion 360 starts with the story of its founders, Dr. Thomas T. Yamashita and Kathleen Yamashita-Horton. Both have a passion to help family farmers solve their agronomic problems in a timely manner.
Meet Doc Tom and Kathleen
Thomas T. Yamashita, Ph.D.
Founder, President, Chief Science Officer
Thanks to his upbringing, Doc Tom has always had a passion for agriculture and farming. At the age of four Tom was helping out on his family’s strawberry farm in Campbell, CA. His family moved to Livingston when he was twelve years old to take up peach farming.
While in high school, Tom took over the operations on the family peach farm. In 1963, this resulted in the highest peach production yields seen in the state that year. Tom continued to run the operations until 1973. In 1975, his parents sold the peach farm and retired to Turlock, CA, giving him the freedom to pursue higher education.
Tom went to CSU Fresno, where he obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s in Agricultural Plant Science. While working on a research project for the USDA Insect Research Laboratory, he met Kathleen, a student from the CSU Fresno Bachelor of Science in Integrated Pest Management Program. He then transferred to UC Davis, where he earned his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Nematology in 1984. During this time Kathleen worked as a Research Assistant for the CDFA Medfly Project in Sacramento, CA, and as Assistant Museum Curator in the UCD Nematology Department. In 1983, Kathleen and Doc Tom were married, and their son, Tim Yamashita, was born in 1987.
From 1989 to 1991, Doc Tom worked for Cargill, Inc. In 1991, Doc Tom and Kathleen moved to Pocatello, Idaho where Doc Tom was a researcher and consultant to potato, onion and blueberry growers in the surrounding areas.
Doc Tom then returned to CSU Fresno, where he was a lecturer and research scientist from 1993 to 1994, and a professor and research scientist from 1994 to 1995 in the Plant Pathology and Nematology Department.
Starting Fusion 360’s Sister Company, Sunburst Plant Disease Clinic
For years, Kathleen had encouraged Doc Tom to start their own business that would allow Doc Tom to develop his technical knowledge of plant science and nematology. She knew that he had unparalleled observation skills that allowed him to correctly diagnose the principal cause of any disease, and identify the products that would enhance crop yields. Together, with his scientific approach and her business vision, they have a passion to create a business that helps the family farmer solve their agronomic problems, in a timely manner.
They chose to start their business in California’s Central Valley due to Doc Tom’ s agricultural roots in the area, and because he had fostered relationships with farmers who trusted his knowledge and expertise. In 1994, their business originated in their family kitchen, where Doc Tom would conduct tests and process samples. It wasn’t unusual for customers to show up before dawn and leave entire fruit trees in the front yard for Doc Tom to examine. Within a few months, business quickly picked up and it became apparent that the business needed a larger and more formal operations site. Consequently, Sunburst Plant Disease Clinic was established in 1995, in Turlock, CA.
Real GROWERS. Real Results.
“ West Coast Turf has been using Fusion products for more than 15 years. It’s been a pleasure for me to work with Dr. Tom’s programs and products. He really takes into consideration all the specifics of our environment around us.
Fusion products along with Dr. Tom’s programs give us great tools to combat adversities and damaging conditions thrown at us by Mother Nature. Our experiences throughout the years have been incredibly successful and I wouldn’t replace any of it. Dr. Tom’s programs are constantly developing new ways to improve plant nutrition and prevent disease, giving us a peace of mind knowing we have a great partner on our side.
Thanks Dr. Tom!
Founding Fusion 360
While they were operating a thriving lab, Doc Tom worked on patents that enhanced cutting- edge plant growth technology. Scientists from around the world would also seek Doc’s insights and understanding of the science they could not comprehend in their own patents.
Doc and Kathleen knew that Sunburst’s patents needed to be produced in an independent factory in order to achieve their maximum potential. This led to the founding of their production facility, Fusion 360, The Future of Agriculture. In 1998, a factory was established to produce Doc Tom’s cutting edge patented products.
In 2014, Kathleen has since established an Entrepreneurial Operating System, to ensure that our Leadership Team manages our business efficiently and effectively in achieving our mission: To feed and clothe a growing population.
Two decades later, Fusion 360 and Sunburst PDC, with its dedicated leadership team, technical consultants and committed employees, works tirelessly to preserve the rich tradition of farming by providing cutting edge products and technologies to increase yields and enhance soil productivity beyond that of virgin soils.
Fusion 360 and Sunburst PDC continues to exemplify Doc Tom’s and Kathleen’s methodical approach to agricultural science and their business vision, eliminating guesswork in favor of precision, data-driven unique programs and cutting-edge patented products in order to enhance the production of crops in a mono-cultural agronomic arena.
We work closely with our technical consultants, arming growers with the knowledge and technology that they need to address the dynamic agronomic challenges that exist today.
Tim Yamashita is currently pursuing a degree in Agricultural Business so that he can continue Doc Tom and Kathleen’s mission to continue the high-quality tradition of agricultural problem solving and dispelling the great need to feed and clothe the world. This is the future of agriculture.
The Mission of FUSION 360, Inc.: To “Develop Innovative, Environmentally-Preserving Technologies Which Equip Agriculturalists With Superior Programs That Categorically Address The Dynamic Challenges To Feed And Clothe A Growing Population Through A 360 Approach To Agriculture.”