In celebrating the best of what the Golden State has to offer, the California State Fair names Paul Wenger as the Agriculturalist of the Year for his contributions and service to developing innovations to carry farming into the future.
Wenger is a third-generation farmer. His farming operation includes sharecropping, custom farm work and walnut hulling. Wenger has served on numerous boards during his extensive career. Most recently, Wenger completed his fourth and final term as the president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
“I am honored”, said Wenger.”Advocating for the industry has been a great partnership with the CA State Fair and the Ag Advisory Council. I am truly humbled to receive this honor.”
In addition to the Agriculturalist of the Year, other prestigious agricultural awards were also announced including the Wine Lifetime Achievement Award, which goes to two recipients Greg Boeger and The Bogle Family. Both awardees are lifetime contributors and pioneers in the wine industry, placing California wines on the map both nationally and internationally.
The Vineyard of the Year is presented to Paraiso Vineyard/Smith Family Home Ranch for their consistency in producing grapes that have contributed to wine of superior quality and marketability within the commercial wine arena.
A new wine award was established for 2018 titled California All Stars. This posthumous award is to be given in recognition of exemplary service and contributions to innovators, educators and/or leaders in the world of wine based on their contributions to the California wine industry. This year’s inaugural awards go to Fresno State University Professor, Kenneth Fugelsang and Fetzer Vineyards Winemaker, Dennis Martin.
Wenger will be honored at the California State Fair Gala benefiting the youth scholarship programs of the Friends of the California State Fair on Thursday, June 21,2018. Purchase tickets here.
The Agriculturalist of the Year will also be publically recognized at California Agriculture Day on the west steps of the State Capitol on Tuesday, March 20.
In addition, the Wine Lifetime Achievement, Vineyard of the Year and California All Stars recipients will be honored at the annual Wine Judges Dinner on Tuesday, March 27, 2018.