SACRAMENTO — Since 1854, the California State Fair has showcased the progress and advancements of the state’s agricultural industry. Public interest and knowledge has grown because of the extraordinary contributions of certain individuals and businesses committed to advancing this mission and benefiting the State Fair as a whole.
In celebration of these accomplishments, the California State Fair annually presents a series of prestigious awards.
The Agriculturalist of the Year award is presented to an individual who has contributed extensively, in a professional capacity, to California’s agricultural industry. Award criteria stipulates this individual must have demonstrated leadership and clearly represented the industry over a number of years in one or more of the following areas: finance, government, production agriculture, education, labor, research, communications, trade and public service.
The California State Fair first began presenting this award in 1980. Most recent awardees include former United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman (2003), Al Montna (2004), George Gomes (2005), John Harris (2006), Len Richardson (2007), Bill Pauli (2008), Ron Schuler (2009), Bill Lyons Jr. (2010), Robert “Bob” Gilbert (2011) and A.G. Kawamura (2012).
The Agricultural Progress Award was established in 1994 to recognize individuals or an organization that has contributed extensively over a number of years to the promotion, advancement and growth of the State Fair Agricultural Programs.
Most recent recipients include the following: Wendy Hall (2005), Richard Breitmeyer (2006), Leonard Bianchi (posthumous recognition) (2007), Robert Dowell PhD (2007), University of California, Davis (2008); Solano County State Fair Exhibit Team (2009), Sacramento County University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program (2010) and Blue Diamond Growers (2010).
Nomination forms and supporting documents for Agriculturalist of the Year award and Agricultural Progress Award must be e-mailed ([email protected]), faxed (916-263-7903), postmarked or hand delivered by Friday, Jan. 25 to: Tomme Jo Dale, Ag Programs Manager, California Exposition and State Fair, PO Box 15649, Sacramento,95852.
The Golden Bear Award acknowledges individuals and businesses that have furthered the State Fair’s mission of showcasing California’s economic and cultural diversity and have rendered meritorious service and support to the California State Fair.
This prestigious award was first presented in 1977. The recipient may be a private citizen or representative of any industry in the public or private sector.
Most recent winners include: The California Milk Advisory Board (2006), the California Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H (2007), Sacramento Magazine (2008), Willie Pelote (2009), California Cattlemen’s Association (2010), Ralph Petty (2010), Harry Moos — Friends of the California State Fair (2011) and Earl “Butch” Butler (2012).
Nomination forms and supporting documents for the Golden Bear Award must be mailed to: Rick Pickering, general manager/CEO, California Exposition and State Fair, Golden Bear Award Nomination, PO Box 15649, Sacramento, 95852; faxed (916-263-3304) or e-mailed ([email protected]) by Friday, March 1.
For more information and Agricultural Award nomination forms visit the State Fair Website at bigfun.org or call 916-263-3109.
The California State Fair will run July 12 to 28 at Cal Expo in Sacramento.