Outstanding work to benefit family farmers and ranchers earned recognition for county Farm Bureaus across California, during a ceremony at the California Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nev., last night.
The Tulare County Farm Bureau earned top honors as winner of the Golden State Hall of Honor Award. The Shasta County Farm Bureau earned the Innovator Award for a unique activity. The Napa, Siskiyou and Yolo county Farm Bureaus earned County of the Year awards in their respective membership categories, and 15 other county Farm Bureaus were recognized for excellence in program activities.
As winner of the Golden State Hall of Honor Award, the Tulare County Farm Bureau was judged to have accomplished the most outstanding program of work during 2011. The county Farm Bureau held a Bounty of the County event promoting locally grown farm products, had two members participate in the Leadership Farm Bureau program and earned Committee of the Year honors for its Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee. In addition, the Farm Bureau hosted its annual youth leadership program for high school juniors and distributed more than $20,000 in scholarships to high school graduates. Tulare was also named County of the Year in its membership category of more than 2,000 members.
The Shasta County Farm Bureau earned the Innovator Award for organizing a rodeo that brought together community members from across the county to raise money and compete in ranching traditions including ranch cow milking and herd counting. The weekend’s events also featured a ranch horse competition, herding dog trial, tri-tip barbecue and silent auction. The event raised more than $13,000 for the county Farm Bureau.
The Napa County Farm Bureau was named the County of the Year in its membership category of 651 to 1,200 members. Outstanding activities organized by the county Farm Bureau included a Farm Day that reached 1,000 students and a bilingual farm safety training seminar. The county Farm Bureau also sent a record number of teachers to the annual Agriculture in the Classroom Conference.
The Siskiyou County Farm Bureau earned County of the Year honors among county Farm Bureaus with fewer than 650 members. It has worked during 2011 providing tours and meeting with legislators and others involved in issues within the county, challenging state Department of Fish and Game regulations that would broaden DFG authority to regulate water rights, and cooperating with the California Cattlewomen to introduce fourth graders to various aspects of Siskiyou County agriculture.
Among county Farm Bureaus with 1,201 to 1,999 members, the Yolo County Farm Bureau earned County of the Year for activities that included successful opposition to a Caltrans project that would have harmed local farms, and collaborating with 4-H and other agricultural youth organizations to hold a Farm Connection event that doubled the number of participating students from the previous year. The Yolo County Farm Bureau also worked with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to donate a pickup truck to the Woodland Community College Agriculture Department.
Along with Napa, Siskiyou, Tulare and Yolo, four other county Farm Bureaus earned President’s Program of the Year awards for outstanding programs within their membership categories: San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and Ventura.
In addition to the county Farm Bureaus named above, 11 others were honored with County Activities of Excellence Awards: Butte, Imperial, Kings, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, Shasta, Solano, Stanislaus and Tehama.
The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of more than 74,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of nearly 6.3 million Farm Bureau members.
In the photo, members of the Shasta County Farm Bureau discuss their budget at a recent meeting.