Tulare County Celebrates Farm Bureau Leaders

Dan Industry News Release

houseTulare County Farm Bureau is pleased to announce their annual celebration of members and leaders to take place during the 100th Annual Dinner to be hosted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Heritage Complex in Tulare, Calif.  Tickets for the event are $45 each and can be purchased by contacting the Tulare County Farm Bureau at 732-8301. Tulare County Farm Bureau will present the following major awards: the Agriculturalist of the Year Award, Service to Farm Bureau, Friend of Farm Bureau, Agricultural Business of the Year, Special Recognition, and Educator of the Year; along with graduating the 32nd class of youth leaders and awarding over $16,000 in local scholarships to deserving students.  Being honored this year with major awards are:

Agriculturalist of the Year
Gary and Anne Hester

Gary and Anne Hester who own Hester Orchards will be honored as this year’s Agriculturalist of the Year.  Farm Bureau’s highest honor recognizes leaders in our community who give tremendous support to the Farm Bureau through leadership, generosity, and service to the organization.  The Hester family represents the backbone of our industry, a hard working family that has poured great devotion into building a successful family farming enterprise from blood, sweat, and hard work. Gary has served as Past President of the Farm Bureau, and his family has been members for several generations. Both Gary and Anne have provided countless hours of support, years of devotion and service to Farm Bureau committees, advisory roles with the youth leadership program, and supporting the annual fundraiser host committee. They are very involved in rural crime prevention and have taken a very active role in helping deter nut theft thru their leadership in the industry.

 Service to Farm Bureau Award
John Gamper

John Gamper retired in February 2017 from 39 years of service to the California Farm Bureau Federation. John was the Director of Taxation and Land Use for CFBF and throughout that time, he has been the unchallenged leader in the protection of farm and ranch land in California.   His expertise on the California Land Conservation Act of 1965 (Williamson Act) is unparalleled.   It is without question that other interests groups in agriculture have looked to John for his leadership in this arena.   John also has served our industry well on other tax and state budget issues and he applied his institutional knowledge in this area to good use repeatedly on behalf of our members over his many years of service.

 Friend of Farm Bureau Award
Patrick Taylor and Paul Williams

Patrick Taylor and Paul Williams, with State Compensation Insurance Fund, which has been partners to the Farm Bureau for decades will receive this year’s Friend of Farm Bureau honor for their many years of service and support of the agriculture community.  Patrick and Paul are loss control consultants to State Fund and have been local foot soldiers working with farm accounts for decades helping protect worker safety and control risk management concerns at agribusinesses throughout Tulare County.  Taylor and Williams have been involved with hosting nut and cotton harvest safety training events for over 30 years, and have been a tremendous asset and partner to the Farm Bureau in their work.

 Agricultural Business of the Year Award
Willitts Pump Company

Willitts Pump Company will be named this year’s Agricultural Business of the Year, for their dedicated service to the agricultural community, and their philanthropic support of many local organizations and the Farm Bureau. Each year Tulare County Farm Bureau honors a local business that has shown extraordinary support to Farm Bureau and the agricultural community. This year that honor is bestowed upon a company who is tremendously supportive of the local farming community. Willitts Equipment Company (also called Willitts Pump Company) is a partner and friend to the Farm Bureau organization in so many ways through countless sponsorships, and attendance at special events. When Farm Bureau reaches out to the community and asks for support for major events or causes we can always count on Willitts Pump.

Educator of the Year
Robert Mailand

Robert Mailand, a retired agriculture teacher and lifelong educator from Porterville is receiving this year’s Educator of the Year award for his dedication and service to the youth of Tulare County. Bob started his career at Porterville High School in 1969 as an agriculture instructor. Many years since retirement, Bob still serves on countless advisory councils, gives support to local high school agriculture and 4-H youth programs, serves on the Porterville Fair Board and regularly participates in advisory panels, ad hoc committees, gives support to project demonstrations, organizes judging competitions, and works the barbecue at many events and fundraisers.

 Youth Awards and Recognition

Numerous students will also be recognized at the banquet including 24 students graduating from the 32nd class of the nationally recognized Youth Leadership program. The outstanding Youth Leadership participant award will be awarded to a student of the class who was selected as an exemplary member of this year’s program. The outstanding participant will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon enrollment in college.

 Scholarship Recipients for 2017

Scholarship recipients from throughout Tulare County, listed below will be recognized also, 22 students are receiving $16,500 in scholarship aid.   Awards are made possible by the Tulare County Farm Bureau’s charitable trust fund, which is a 501c3 charitable trust for Educational and Scholarship programs of the Farm Bureau.  Donations for scholarships are made by contributors throughout the year, and are always appreciated.  Memorial awards have been established by certain families, and the Scott Shannon memorial award is a renewable award for up to $2,000 total.   All other awards listed below are one-time awards.

First Name Last Name School Award Title Amount
Annika Atsma Tulare Union HS Young Farmers and Ranchers $500
Tara Bane COS Young Farmers and Ranchers $1,000
Jacob Bower Redwood HS Scott Shannon Memorial $500
Sarah Dreyer Cal Poly, SLO Merit $500
Zachary Fallert Tulare Union HS Merit $500
Sandra Gaylord Golden West HS Fred and Marilyn Collison Memorial $1,000
Sandra Gaylord Golden West HS Scott Shannon Memorial $500
Grace Guthrie Harmony Magnet Academy Mary Rankin Memorial $1,000
Foster Hengst Cal Poly, SLO Merit $1,000
Veronica Hernandez Martinez Granite Hills HS Student of Farm Employee $500
Judith Magana Granite Hills HS Student of Farm Employee $500
Julissa Magana Granite Hills HS Student of Farm Employee $500
Kaitlyn McFarlan Exeter HS TCFB Ag Career $1,000
Ryan Montemagni Redwood HS Scott Shannon Memorial $500
Dane Nelson Central Valley Christian 2-Year College $500
Derrick Nunes Tulare Union HS TCFB Ag Career $1,000
Gavin Patrick Porterville HS COS RRS Endowment $500
Stephine Ramos Alcantar Granite Hills HS Merit $500
Austin Robbins Exeter HS Merit $500
Cort Rowley Golden West HS Frank Ribeiro Memorial $1,000
Romey Stuhaan VTEC Scott Shannon Memorial $500
Romey Stuhaan VTEC Young Farmers and Ranchers $500
Kelsey Swall Fresno State Merit $500
Jenna Toor El Diamante HS Scott Shannon Memorial $500
Jenna Toor El Diamante HS TCFB Ag Career $1,000

For more information about this year’s honorees or to attend the dinner, contact the Farm Bureau office at 559-732-8301. Tickets at $45 each are available please call soon as seating is first come, first served.  Reservations for a full table of 8 may be requested in advance.

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